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Producing and using OER

What you should pay attention to when using and producing OER and other ways to find OER

Didactic planning

Before you create your own open educational resource, you should ask yourself the following questions and try to answer them for your project:

  • Which target group do I want to reach?
  • What (learning) goals do I want my learners to achieve with it?
  • What content is necessary to achieve the goals? Which key topics need to be taught?

Other aspects to consider include project planning and licensing. Get a first overview of planning an OER project in our OER canvas.

Our OER guide offers further insights into the creation of OER.

Licensing of OER

Copyrighted materials that are not licensed as OER cannot be modified without permission and cannot be easily reused. Therefore Open educational resources make it possible to build on existing materials from colleagues. This also leaves more time for other teaching tasks and student support. If you add to, modify or shorten an existing open educational resource (OER) (if permitted by the licensing), a new licence must be issued. The most common open licences are Creative Commons licences. Licensing materials under Creative Commons licences, for example, enables transparent use and further development.

Step 1: License check

If you have used existing educational resources, it is important to check whether their licenses are compatible with each other. Keep the following points in mind:

  • The third-party content to be used must have an open license (such as Creative Commons).
  • Foreign content (scientific texts, quotations, images, etc.) must be clearly marked (cited).
  • Illustrations as design elements must be your own or have an open license.


Step 2: Selection of licenses

Two decisions need to be made here:

1. License type

  • First, determine the type of licence.
    • Learn more about the openness of each CC licence. This chart maps the different licences on the spectrum between the greatest possible degree of openness to full legal "copyright" or copyright protection.
  • Some CC licences are more "open" than others. This means that they give users more freedom to re-use materials. The following licences are recommended for the creation of Open Educational Resources, as they allow the content to be re-used and re-purposed:
  • The licence chooser on the Creative Commons website will help you choose a suitable licence.

2. License version

Then select a suitable licence version (international or locally ported)

Step 3: Licensing your OER

Now it is time to license your work. Your educational resources must contain the information that future users will need for the correct re-use of your educational resource.

The TALLO rule (based on the German TULLU rule by J. Muuß-Merholz & S. Borski for OERinfo – Informationsstelle OER (CC BY 4.0, can help you to remember all the necessary components that need to be included:

T Title What is the name of the material?
A Author Who created the material?
L License Under which CC-license has it been published?
L Link to license Where is the text of the license deed?
O Origin Where can the material be found?

Licence App

With this app, you can watermark your images with a CreativeCommons licence logo and share the resulting image via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media plattforms.



Where do I find OER?

  • Search for OER in the OERhub.
  • In addition to the OERhub as the search portal for the Austrian higher education area, there are a number of international portals. The following lists represent a first insight into the worldwide OER landscape:

Do you know or run a metasearch engine for OER that we could add to? Please contact us so that we can include it in our list.

OER from Germany


The Hamburg Open Online University is open to all interested parties and acts as an association of all higher education institutions in Hamburg. Courses from different subject areas are freely accessible and can be completed.

OER Späti

This OER portal is developed and maintained in the German project "Digitally Supported Teaching and Learning in Hessen (digLL)". The platform makes various OER from Hessian universities available.


As an OER platform of the TU Darmstadt, OpenLearnware can be used and further developed without restrictions due to its open source code. OER that can be found are primarily lecture recordings that can be used with any end devices.


OpenRUB - as a platform for all departments of the Ruhr-Universität-Bochum - different presentation formats are offered, such as information courses, Youtube channels, but also Open Course Ware (OCW) courses, which can be legally safely reused and partly edited.

TIB AV-Portal

Scientific films from technology and the natural sciences and other disciplines can be found and reused in the video portal of the Hannover Library of Science and Technology.


Tübingen University Library provides OER from the higher education sector through the central OER repository of the universities in Baden-Württemberg (ZOERR). The OER offered can be searched and downloaded.

Further OER from Europe

Open Media Bank - Media Hopper Create

The University of Edinburgh, with the Open Media Bank, offers the educational videos created for its MOOCs free for use.

sup numerique

This French platform allows users to search and re-use OER from "L'Université Numérique" - the union of 6 digital universities (UNT).


The University of Nottingham's platform from 2009 lets teachers participate in a variety of OER.

OER worldwide


This service of the California State University makes OER accessible. The database can be searched using different parameters.

MIT OpenCourseWare 

Users can browse and reuse OER created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


OASIS - Openly Availabdle Sources Integrated Search - lets users search 117 worldwide repositories for free materials. This platform is hosted by SUNY Geneseo, the university in New York.

OER Commons

OER Commons as a public digital database for Open Educational Resources, with the help of which mainly American OERhubs can be searched. OER of different types can be found.

Open Textbook Library 

An American database of peer-reviewed publications from numerous universities that are licensed for use.

OER World Map

The OER World Map lets you search numerous OER entries worldwide according to different search criteria.

Teaching Commons

Search portal for OER from American universities that makes teaching material available for free use.