Skip to main content
EU Science Hub
Content in open education refers to materials for teaching and learning, and research outputs, which are free of charge (preferably openly licensed) and available to all.

Content in open education encompasses texts of all sorts, textbooks, course materials, pictures, games, podcasts, video lectures, software, data, research papers and outputs, and any other type of educational material that conveys information which can be used for teaching and learning. It can be open licensed, in the public domain or copyrighted but should be 'gratis' and accessible by everyone without restrictions.

Open educational resources (OER)

OER constitute a key component of open education. OER are content that is printed or made available digitally The two main characteristics of OER are that they are "libre" (openly-licensed content) and at the same time "gratis"(free of charge). There are different types OER (e.g. fully licensed or partially licensed). Public domain content can also be placed in this category. Using OER for teaching and learning reduces the possibility that users infringe copyright. At the same time OER grants greater permissions in the use of content, such as adaptation, translation, remix, reuse and redistribution, depending on the type of license applied to the content.

OER range from individual learning objects (e.g. a picture with a specific teaching purpose) to full courses (e.g. a MOOC or an open (libre and gratis) online course).

Free-of-charge content

Free-of-charge content refers to content that is printed or made available digitally and 'gratis' but remains copyrighted. Though users do not pay to access it, they cannot reuse, adapt or share it without seeking permission from the copyright holder.

Free-of-charge content ranges from individual learning objects to full courses (e.g. a MOOC or an open (gratis) online course). Whenever appropriate, free-of-charge content should be fully licensed as OER, thereby granting users greater permissions in handling the content.