Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain and have been released under an open licence that permits access, use, repurposing, reuse and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions (Atkins, Brown & Hammond, 2007). The use of open technical standards improves access and reuse potential.

Creative Commons licences are generally applied to OER materials. What you are permitted to do with each type of licence and how you attribute is outlined below.

Attribution CC-BY
AttributionMaterials with this licence can be used and repurposed, even for commercial purposes. This makes them very safe for use in your teaching, as there is no conflict with SCU's IP policy.

As with all the other licences, you need to ensure you attribute the work correctly.

Summary: Very generous terms make this the most useful licence View Australian Licence Deed

Attribution-Share Alike CC BY-SA
Attribution - ShareAlikeIf you are using, but not changing materials with a Share Alike licence, this can be a great licence for teaching and learning material. Just ensure you attribute the work appropriately.

However if you are planning to change and repurpose the material (ie. make a derivative), then you are required to licence the new material with the same Attribution-Share Alike licence.

This may be in conflict with SCU's Intellectual Property policy, which states that material created for teaching purposes remains the property of SCU.

Summary: Generous and useful, but may conflict with SCU IP Policy. View Australian Licence Deed

Attribution-Noncommercial CC BY-NC
Attribution - NonCommercialUsing material with this licence may be fine for teaching at SCU, as it is educational rather than commercial use. The licence allows you to adapt the material and change the CC licence of the derivative (as long as it is not commercial).

Be aware, however, using materials with this licence cannot be sold later for commercial purposes.

Summary: Appropriate licence for SCU educational materials (with no commercialisation). View Australian Licence Deed

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA
Attribution - NonCommercial-ShareAlikeWhilst this licence allows adaption of material, the Share Alike component means that repurposed work would need to have an open licence. This may conflict with SCU IP Policy.

Noncommercial component is fine for SCU educational materials that are not to be commercialised at any stage.

Summary: Generous for adapting educational work but potential conflicts with SCU IP Policy. View Australian Licence Deed

The following two No Derivatives (ND) licences are not strictly OER but they can be used freely in your teaching. The content must not be changed at all.

Attribution-No Derivative works CC BY-ND
Attribution - NoDerivsThis licence allows you to use the materials for teaching at SCU, but you cannot change them.

This allows you to embed the resources in a larger educational resource. However ensure that you leave the material whole and unchanged and attribute it appropriately.

Summary: Good when just using material, but cannot change or adapt. View Australian Licence Deed

Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works
Attribution - NonCommercial-NoDerivsMaterial with this licence cannot be adapted, and has the potential issue of the non-commercial restriction.

This material would be suitable for inclusion in a reading list but cannot be repurposed.

Summary: Use this type of material as supplemental learning materials and do not repurpose it. View Australian Licence Deed

Atkins, D.E., Brown, J.S., & Hammond, A.L. (2007). A review of the open educational resources (OER) movement: Achievements, challenges, and new opportunities. Retrieved from

The information on this page has been adapted from and is licensed under a Licence.