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Open Educational Resources: Glossary

Open Education Glossary

Adaptive Learning
An educational process that adapts teaching materials and methods to each student’s individual needs. Several software solutions use learning analytics to provide an adapted learning path to users.

Blended Learning
A teaching approach that combines online and in-person learning, allowing a higher degree of personalisation and learner autonomy

Creative Commons
A nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

Digital Literacy
The ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Online courses, often offered for free or at minimal cost. Many MOOCs include audio or video lectures, assignments, readings, quizzes, and interactive forums and discussion boards. Many MOOCs are offered by large institutions, and some will offer course credits for completed MOOCs, usually for a small fee.

A piece of data or content is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike.

Open Access
A publishing model whereby authors make their content freely available, albeit often with partial copyright restrictions or low copyright barriers.

Open Learning
Learning that incorporates open technologies and approaches.

Open Educational Resources (OER)
Any teaching and learning materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license, such as a Creative Commons License or GNU General Public License, that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution with no or limited restrictions.

Open Pedagogy
Teaching that incorporates open technologies and approaches such as use of OERs.

The modification or re-interpretation of a resource, possibly combining fragments of material from various sources.

To make use of a resource either after modification or for a purpose different than that for which it was originally intended.

To make use of a resource as it is, for its intended purpose.


1. Gong, R. (2020). Open educational resources at LCC: creative commons. Lansing Community College Library. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2. “OER Toolkit” (2020). The learning portal. College Libraries Ontario.
3. Open Education Handbook/Glossary (2014, December 13). WikiBooks.

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