Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) have particular potential to ensure inclusive, equitable and high-quality education for all people. Furthermore, OER promote the implementation of ideal teaching and learning processes and contribute to making (educational) resources available in a sustainable manner. With the OER policy adopted in 2024, Paderborn University has set itself the goal of sustainably anchoring OER in the university culture.

On this page you will find our wide range of counselling, training and support services on the subject of "Open Educational Resources (OER)", initial basic information on the subject of OER and an overview of OER-related projects at Paderborn University.

OER-Policy der Uni­versität Pader­born

Mit der 2024 verabschiedeten OER-Policy hat sich die Universität Paderborn zum Ziel gesetzt, OER nachhaltig in der Hochschulkultur zu verankern.

Our OER-re­lated of­fers


Do you have questions about OER-related topics? Take advantage of our wide range of counselling services.

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Fur­ther train­ing

We regularly offer OER workshops and training courses for teachers and students. It's worth taking a look at the programme!

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Sup­port and re­sources

We support you in your OER-related projects, such as the use, creation and/or (further) development of teaching/learning materials as OER.

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Ba­sic in­form­a­tion on Open Edu­ca­tion­al Re­sources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials of any kind and in any medium that are published under an open licence. Such an open licence enables free access as well as free use, editing and redistribution by others without or with minor restrictions. Open Educational Resources can include individual materials as well as complete courses or books. Any medium can be used. Curricula, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts - all of these resources are OER if they are published under an open licence (source: UNESCO definition).

(Text taken from: What is OER? by Team OERinfo for OERinfo - die Informationsstelle OER(, CC-BY 4.0, OERinfo.)

OER enable free access to free education

By releasing educational materials as OER, they are made accessible to a wider range of users free of charge. This allows a larger number of people to benefit from the content, which is a win-win situation for both learners and teachers - because promoting the open exchange of educational material ultimately benefits everyone.

OER are good for quality

If educational resources are freely available and can be further processed, improvements and updates can be made without great effort. There is also little reason to assume that free material is of poorer quality. Rather, the opposite is true: if an author decides to make their own works available to a large group of people, special attention is usually paid to quality.

OER expand the didactic possibilities

Thanks to their modifiability, OER can be adapted very flexibly to the circumstances of different learning settings and students can be more easily involved in the further processing of materials. As the vast majority of open educational resources are created and distributed digitally, this is generally also associated with the promotion of open and innovative learning scenarios (such as blended learning, flipped classrooms, etc.).

OER bring more visibility to teaching performance

The use and creation of OER helps to ensure that the content created by teachers reaches more people - other teachers as well as students and anyone interested in the materials. This can make the work done in the course of teaching more visible.

(Text taken from: Open Educational Resources (OER). Information for university lecturers on the use and publication of OER. Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg, CC-BY 4.0, changes (including paragraph headings) made by Tassja Weber)

Although there is no specific requirement for the choice of licence, the Creative Commons (CC) licences have de facto prevailed. These licences are legally secure, both internationally and in Germany. In 2016, there was already around 1.2 billion pieces of content on the web under a CC licence(State of the Commons Report 2016).

There are various CC licences to choose from, each with different restrictions. If you take the definition of OER (see above) seriously, then there are only three possible CC licences under "free use, editing and redistribution by others without or with minor restrictions":

  • CC BY: In this case, the name of the author must be mentioned when reusing the work
  • CC BY SA: In this case, the name of the author must be mentioned when reusing the material. AND: If you remix, modify or otherwise build directly on the material, you may only distribute the resulting material under the same licence as the original.
  • There is also the option of releasing your own works into the public domain. The CC0 (CC Zero) licence is used to clearly indicate this. In this case, the name of the author does not have to be mentioned. However, the copyright remains unaffected.

Information on these and other CC licences can be found here.

(Text taken from: What is OER? by Team OERinfo for OERinfo - the OER information centre(, CC-BY 4.0, OERinfo. Changes made by Tassja Weber)

A checklist for the creation of OER has been created in the state portal network. This checklist gives you an overview of the key aspects of planning and licensing your material as Open Educational Resources. You can download the checklist (version 2.1. dated 22 March 2022) on the "Resources" page.

Licence notice: The checklist is licensed under the CC BY 4.0 licence (see document for detailed licence notice). The checklist was created by Linda Halm and Alexander Kobusch from Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Tassja Weber adapted it for the UPB. The original file of the checklist and a current version from 2023 can be found on the website of B ielefeld University of Applied Sciences.

In January 2024, Paderborn University adopted an Open Educational Resources Policy (OER Policy for short). You can download the policy from the University Library.

OER projects at Paderborn University

There are many teaching-related projects at Paderborn University that create open educational resources (OER):

All teaching/learning materials and resources created as part of the projects are published under an open licence on the state portal and can therefore be freely reused, edited and redistributed.

Would you like to find out more about On this page you will find further information on the services and offers of the state portal