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Open Education Resources

As students become more reliant on digital platforms for information, they need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities with regard to utilising the information they retrieve. Copyright regulations exist to protect the owner of material or work, in order that they control the use of and are adequately compensated for their work. One way to alleviate this issue is to utilise Open Education Resources (OER).  These are defined as teaching, learning and research materials in any medium (digital or otherwise) that are in the public domain or have been released under an openlicencethat permits free access, use, modification and sharing by others with no or limited restrictions. OER are not restricted to one format and can include hard copy and digital text, audio, video, images, interactive multimedia and combinations of these.  

One example of accessible OER material is via Creative Commons (CC), which is a licence that is applied to a work protected by copyright.  It is a way of sharing copyrighted work without the owner having to give up total control or having to grant permissions. 

When using OER students have the flexibility to: 

  1. Reuse the content in its unaltered original format 
  2. Retain copies of the content for personal archive or reference 
  3. Revise the content to suit their specific needs 
  4. Remix the content with other similar content to create something new 
  5. Redistribute or share the content with anyone else in its original or altered format. 

For more information regarding OER and copyright regulations visit the Australian copyright council or Smartcopying websites.