open resources; Christian education; copyright; pedagogy; OER
A significant movement in education concerns the use of open educational resources (OERs). By “open” it is generally meant that the resource is freely available to others to reuse in different contexts. These resources could include books, lesson plans, syllabi, slide shows, etc. There are several examples of individuals and institutions providing open educational resources; this openness is also specifically manifest in the field of religious education. I discuss different levels in which OERs can be “open” and the implications of these levels when creating OERs. Common motivations and obstacles to creating OERs are discussed. A particularly significant issue regarding openness concerns copyright issues. I discuss copyright implications both in terms of reusing resources others have made (resources that may or may not be copyrighted), and using Creative Commons licenses to license OERs so as to give the desired level of copyright protection. Although OERs are not appropriate in all situations, they can be an important part of improving pedagogy and increasing access to education.