Open Educational Resources (or: lotsa free stuff!)

reuseI recently attended a talk organised by the eLearning Alliance where Pete Cannell of the Open University in Scotland talked about the OU’s commitment to providing resources – text, images and video – which are free to be re-used, revised, remixed and redistributed according to a Creative Commons licence.

Pete comes from the OEPS team – Opening Educational Practices in Scotland, whose remit is to promote and encourage the creation and use of open resources and the linked use of open badges for learners to show their attainments.

I didn’t know, for example, the huge number of Open University courses available free at OpenLearn, the OU’s free education site. Most of the material there can be repurposed by anyone. The Creative Commons licence is said to be attribution-based – you state where the resources come from – and non-commercial; but non-commercial doesn’t mean that companies can’t use the material or even charge for courses they build using the material. There’s a provision to charge on a cost-recovery basis if you’ve adapted the material into something new.


The team are working not only with universities but unions, charities and the Scottish government on a range of projects using open resources and badges. They have the support of the OU’s expertise in media creation and copyright.

Have a look at the courses at OpenLearn. If you’d like to know more about what’s involved in open resources, see the OEPS team’s site and OpenLearnWorks, an attempt to offer a ‘lab’ where you can remix and repurpose OU content yourself.

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