Open Educational Resources

Free educational materials – open educational resources (OER) – play an important role in the digital and equal opportunity development of university teaching.

What are open educational resources?

"Open educational resources (OER) are educational resources of any kind that are usually published under a free and open license [...]. These licenses define clear legal and organizational conditions for the use, redistribution and, if necessary, modification of these digital materials. The free usability and adaptability enables and promotes networking, exchange and collaboration, especially in the digital space." (OER Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

Open educational resources (OER) offer great potential for university teaching. The advantages of digitization, which often remain unused due to existing copyright practices, can be fully exploited through the granting of open licenses and the resulting legally compliant reusability of resources. This enables faculty and students to make greater collaborative use of educational materials. Educators can freely use and adapt OER, thereby improving the quality of their teaching. Universities can make the results of their research more visible and reach a wider audience.

Advantages of open educational resources

The publication and use of open educational resources (OER) in university teaching has many advantages:

  • Being up-to-date: OER can be easily modified to reflect new developments and research findings, which ensures that teaching materials are up-to-date.
  • Flexibility: Teachers can adapt OER materials to their specific teaching requirements, enabling a customized teaching and learning experience.
  • Collaboration: OER encourages collaboration as teachers and students can work together to create and improve educational content.
  • Dissemination and visibility: Universities can make their contribution to society more visible to the public by providing OER and thus reaching a broader target group. Teachers document their commitment to research and teaching by publishing teaching materials as OER.
  • Transparency and legal certainty: OER are provided with open content licenses that specify to third parties in a standardized way how the materials can be reused in a legally secure manner.
Open educational resources at the University of Freiburg

The development of an "open teaching and learning culture with freely accessible learning opportunities" is firmly embedded in the Strategy for Digitalization in Teaching at the University of Freiburg published in 2020 ("Strategie zur Digitalisierung in der Lehre an der Universität Freiburg", in German). Based on this strategic aim, the project "4D – 4 Dimensions of Digital and Didactic Development" (2021–2024) promotes the development of innovative teaching strategies with digitalization in mind. The four dimensions address the concerns of students, faculty and the university as an organization as well as its integration into society as a whole and international networking.

Since 2021, the University of Freiburg has also had a central point of contact for all questions relating to open educational resources. It is available to provide you with further information and support you in the creation and legally compliant publication of OER materials. Questions and answers on open educational resources are also included in the University of Freiburg's Digital Teaching Toolbox ("Werkzeugkasten Digitale Lehre", in German).

Further information
  • OERinfo: information platform on the topic of open educational resources (in German)
  • OER FAQ: questions and answers about open educational resources (in German)
  • information platform on copyright and creative work in the digital world – here on the topic of 'Education + OER' (in German)
  • OER-community-bwmailing list for the OER community at universities and higher education institutions in Baden-Württemberg for specialist discussions and event announcements (in German)
University of Freiburg