Open educational resources (OERs) are learning, teaching and research materials intentionally created and licensed to be free for the end user to use, share, and in many cases, modify. They are in the public domain or under an open license. 

OER 5R framework

The 5R framework was first defined by David Wiley and has since been used widely as a set of principles to define open content and open educational resources. In the 5Rs, open content is licensed in a way that grants users permission to:  

  1. Reuse: Content can be reused, and the right to use the content in a wide range of ways, for example, in a class, study group, on a website, in a video  
  2. Retain: Copies of content can be retained for personal archives or reference, the right to make, own and control copies of the content (download, duplicate, store and manage) 
  3. Revise: Content can be modified or altered to suit specific needs, the right to adapt, adjust, modify or alter the content itself (translate the content into another language)  
  4. Remix: Content can be adapted with other similar content to create something new; the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new 
  5. Redistribute: Content can be shared, the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions or your remixes with others 

Benefits of OER

There are many benefits to using and adapting OERs. These include: 

  • Increase student learning by providing no-cost teaching and learning resources  
  • Breaks down affordability barriers by reducing student costs 
  • Immediate and continual access to materials 
  • Provides an opportunity to continually improve resources 
  • Can easily be augmented with class materials 
  • Enhancement of regular course content by allowing multiple formats to be used 

OERs at University of Waikato

The Library has been a member of the CAUL Open Educational Resources Collective since 2023. This provides a shared open textbook publishing platform for all participating institutional members as well as support for authors and grants. For more information about using, adapting or creating an OER, please see our Open Educational Resources guide. 

Need help?

The Open Research Team is on hand to help you understand your options when making your research open access, including pathways and funding requirements.