“If all that was meant by open was free, we wouldn’t need a new word. We’d just call it free.”
– David Wiley 
Free materials serve a meaningful purpose in education by providing tools to support teaching and learning, but free resources are not necessarily open resources. “Free” means that there is no required cost to access materials. It does not mean that users may also reuse, modify, or share the materials.
When a resource is open, users know they can and share the resource widely, so long as they abide by the terms of the creator. Open materials also allow users to and them with other open resources or self-generated content to produce new material. These terms and permissions are typically established in the work’s .
- UB Center for Educational Innovation. High Impact Practices for Integrating Open Educational Resources (OER) into University Courses, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3CY6RR4uns&feature=youtu.be. ↵
In this context, the ability to reuse an unmodified work verbatim in a variety of ways and settings.
In this context, the ability to adapt, modify, or improve a work originally created by someone else.
In this context, the ability to combine two or more openly licensed works to create something new.
A document specifying how a copyrighted work may be used. It grants permissions and states restrictions. Authors may choose to use an open license, which shares permissions typically protected by copyright without transferring ownership of the work.