"OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." 
In other words, OERs are educational materials that are specifically designed by their creator/s to be openly available, and are often licensed to be re-used, re-mixed, and re-distributed. Open is not just about low cost (though that is an important benefit of using OER) but about the ability to take what others have created, customize it for your specific educational needs, and then share your creation with others.
OER can come in a variety of forms:
- Primary sources - Images, video, and sound recordings. Some sources are in the public domain, while others have been licensed as open by their creators. In addition, many texts that are in the public domain are available online/electronically.
- Learning content - created content that ranges from individual lectures, animations, and assessments to complete courses and textbooks.
SPECIAL NOTE: This guide is designed to introduce OER to the Rollins community, but remember that there are additional electronic resources available at the Olin Library We offer licensed journals, databases, and e-books to support Rollins programs. Although these resources do not allow for customization and re-use in the same way as OER, they are resources that you can make available at no cost for your students.