Open Educational Resources

What is Open Education?

Open Education Global defines Open Education as encompassing the “resources, tools, and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide” (Source). 

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as “learning, teaching, and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, repurpose, adaptation and redistribution by others” (Source). 

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

In 2015, all United Nations Member States adopted a universal call to action to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030 (Source). There are 17 overarching and interrelated goals. SDG Goal #4 calls for access to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, and is therefore closely connected to the global Open Education movement. 

What are Open Educational Practices (OEPs)?

Open Educational Practices (OEPs) support the (re)use and production of OERs through institutional policies, promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning paths (Source).

What is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are courses that take place over a set time frame, studied within a cohort, that are freely open to all (Source).

Copyright & OERs – Library & Learning Commons

Visit the link below to Cambrian College’s Library and Learning Commons website where you can find information about copyright and links to Open Educational Resources.

Where to Find OERs

If you’re interested in finding openly licensed resources for teaching and/or student support needs, a great place to start would be the College Libraries Ontario OER Toolkit. This toolkit provides information and tools to help faculty and academic support staff understand, engage with, and sustain OER in their work and practices. 

Canada Copyright Guide

Visit the Government of Canada’s guide to copyright to learn about the certain criteria that must be met when you create something you own the copyright to.

Questions about Copyright?

What is Creative Commons?


Image source: Foter Blog

Creative Commons (CC) gives you the ability to create, share and use content for your teaching and learning needs without being restricted by copyright, and most often, cost.

Content with a CC license means it is free to use with some rights reserved. Please have a look at the Creative Commons website, FAQ section and license information. You can also Search the Commons to find material to use in your own courses.

Creative Commons describes their licenses as tools that “give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of [their] tools and [their] users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law” (Source). 

This image above displays the different degrees of freedom and control that licenses allow when licensing your content. In addition, please refer to the downloadable resources below under CC license from eCampus Ontario.

Open Education at Cambrian College

Open Book Fair

OER Adopters at Cambrian

Faculty at Cambrian have been incorporating openly licensed textbooks (OER) into their teaching practices. Read on for a few testimonials: 

Open Day – May 31, 2018

In the spring of 2018, Cambrian College held their very first Open Day. Organized by Cambrian faculty member Jessica O’Reilly, and Librarian Marnie Seal, this collaboration of Cambrian faculty, staff, students, as well as colleagues from colleges across Ontario brought more awareness and initiatives about Open Education to Cambrian. View the calendar of events from Open Day. The videos and resources listed below also include some of the information shared during Open Day.

Downloadable Resources

Courtesy of eCampus Ontario:

  • Creative Commons Licenses Explained (PDF Poster)
  • Textbooks or Food: Open Textbooks for Students (PDF Poster)
  • Open Educational Resources and You (PDF Poster)
  • Open Educational Resources and Practices (PowerPoint) (PDF)
  • Top 10 Myths About Open Educational Resources (PDF Postcard)
  • Three Reasons to Use Open Educational Resources (PDF Postcard)

Learn More


Videos and Slide Decks

Courses and MOOCs