10 characteristics of OER (Open Educational Resources)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that are in the public domain or that have been published under an open license that allows free access, use, adaptation and redistribution by anyone. OER can include materials such as textbooks, videos, educational software, online courses, among others.

Main characteristics of OER

  1. Free access: OER are accessible for free to anyone, expanding access to education and knowledge.
  2. Flexible use: OER are usually available in digital formats that allow them to be adapted and used in various ways, depending on the needs of the users.
  3. Open permissions: OER usually have open licenses that allow their redistribution and modification, encouraging collaboration and the creation of new educational materials.
  4. Diversity of content: OER cover a wide range of topics and disciplines, which allows us to cover the needs of different areas of knowledge.
  5. Constant updating: Being in digital format, OER can be easily updated, guaranteeing the validity and relevance of the content.

  6. Support for teaching and learning: OER can be used as complementary material in the classroom or as a main resource in distance education environments.
  7. Collaborative development: The creation and improvement of OER can be carried out collaboratively by educators, researchers and students.
  8. Interoperability: OER are usually designed to be compatible with different platforms and systems, facilitating their use and distribution.
  9. Emphasis on accessibility: OER are usually designed with accessibility for people with disabilities in mind, ensuring their inclusive use.
  10. Promoting innovation: OER encourage creativity, experimentation and innovation in the way knowledge is accessed and shared.

Comparative table of OER platforms

PlatformFree accessOpen permissionsDiversity of contentConstantly updatedInteroperability
Khan AcademyYeahYeahYeahYeahYeah
Creative CommonsYeahYeahYeahYeahYeah


What benefits do OER offer for education?
OER helps expand access to quality educational materials, foster innovation in the teaching and learning process, and promote collaboration and knowledge sharing.

How can I find and access OER?
There are various online platforms and repositories that offer access to a wide variety of OER. Some of them include OER Commons, Khan Academy, and Educaplay.

Can I use and adapt OER for my own classes?
Yes, most OER have open licenses that allow their use and adaptation for educational purposes.

What types of materials are considered OER?
OER can include textbooks, presentations, videos, educational software, online courses, among others.

Are there regulations or standards for the creation of OER?
Yes, there are international standards and recommendations for the creation and publication of OER, such as the Paris Principles and UNESCO's Guidelines for the Development of Open Educational Materials.

How can I contribute to the creation of OER?
You can contribute to the creation of OER by sharing your own educational materials, participating in collaborative projects, or improving and adapting existing materials.

Are OER compatible with different systems and platforms?
Yes, OER are usually designed to be compatible with different systems and platforms, making them easier to access and distribute.

What is the impact of OER on education globally?
OER have been shown to have a significant impact on access to education, quality of teaching, academic collaboration and educational innovation globally.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of OER (Open Educational Resources), en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-oer-open-educational-resources/ (Consultado el: 28-11-2023)

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