A note on attribution:

This glossary was adapted from the Glossary in The OER Starter Kit by Abbey K. Elder, which  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" something. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers) (“Accessibility”, 2022).

Alt text

A word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document to tell website visitors the nature or contents of an image (TechTarget Contributor, 2012).


The process by which a content user gives proper credit to the original creator of a work when a portion of that work is reused or adopted outside of its original context. Attribution typically includes a link to the original work and information about the author and license.

Backward design

A model for designing instructional materials where the instructor or designer begins the design process with a focus on the desired results (i.e., the outcome) of instruction (Learning Theories, n.d.).


A set of intellectual property laws that give the rightsholder of a work (usually the author) exclusive rights over the reproduction, reuse, remixing, display, performance, and redistribution of their work.

Copyright license

A license permits users to certain rights over a copyrighted work. These can be exclusive (allowed for individual groups) or nonexclusive (allowed for all users). Licenses can be restricted by certain factors such as purpose, territory, duration, and media (FindLaw, 2016).

Course Learning Outcomes

The final outcomes that an instructor expects their students to gain by the time the students complete a course.

Creative Commons

A set of open licenses that allow creators to clearly mark how others can reuse their work through a set of four badge-like components: Attribution, Share-Alike, Non-Commercial, and No Derivatives

Derivative works

A work based on or derived from one or more already existing works. Common derivative works include translations, musical arrangements, art reproductions, and abridgments . (, n.d.).

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital Rights Management is any system that allows publishers and vendors to impose limits on what users can do with digital material, typically e-books and videos. These limits are designed to restrict copying, sharing and reformatting

Digital Rights Management - free (DRM-free)

DRM-free resources eliminate the limitations of DRM and can be opened with ease on a range of devices and apps, and the files can be freely shared, edited, and reformatted – although copyright and licence conditions will apply.


The practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of minority groups (Oxford Lexico, n.d.).

Learning Management System (LMS)

A piece of software that manages, analyses, and runs educational courses. Canvas and Blackboard are two popular examples.


The process by which a rightsholder (usually the creator of a work) dictates that others can reuse their work in specific ways.

Open access

A model by which content creators make their scholarly outputs free to access without cost to users. This can be done either by publishing content with an OA publisher or by sharing a copy of the content on an open repository.

Open educational practices

Practices which encourage the development of openness, community engagement, transparency, responsibility, sharing, and accountability in education (“Open Education Practices”, 2016).

Open educational resources (OERs)

Free educational materials that are openly licensed to enable reuse and redistribution by users.

Open educational resources (OERs) collections

Repositories of OER materials.

Open educational resources (OERs) metafinders

Online tools that search multiple OER collections to locate OERs.

Open license

A copyright license which grants permission for all users to access, reuse, and redistribute a work with few or no restrictions.

Open pedagogy

A set of pedagogical practices that include engaging students in content creation and making learning accessible to all.

Open science

An umbrella term for a movement comprised of a variety of practices aiming to remove barriers for sharing any kind of research output, including resources, methods, or tools created at any stage of the research process (Bueno de la Fuente, n.d.).

Open source software

Software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance (, n.d.).

Open textbook

An openly licensed and free to access textbook; an OER meant to be used as a textbook for a course.

Open textbook collections

Repositories of open textbooks.

Public Domain

A work which is not covered under copyright law, whose copyright has expired, or which has been dedicated to the public domain by its rightsholder is said to be in the public domain.

Student Learning Outcomes

The outcomes that an instructor expects their students to display at the end of a learning experience (an activity, process, or course) (Elhabashy, 2017).

Universal Design

A process intended to design products that are usable by all people,with or without disabilities, to the greatest extent possible (Edyburn, 2010).

Universal Design for Learning

A framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on the concept that, by providing multiple ways of engaging with content, the diverse educational needs of learners can be met.

~Reference list~

Accessibility. (2022, August 22). In Wikipedia.

Bueno de la Fuente, G. (n.d.). What is open Science? Introduction. Foster.

FindLaw. (2016, December 22). Copyright Licenses.

Edyburn, D.L. (2010). Would You Recognize Universal Design for Learning if You Saw it? Ten Propositions for New Directions for the Second Decade of UDL. Learning Disability Quarterly, 33(1), 33-41. DOI:10.2307/25701429

Elhabashy, S. (2017). Formulate Consequential Student Learning Outcomes. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Learning Theories. (n.d.). Backward Design.

Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations/Resources and Practices. (2016, September 9). In Wikibooks. (n.d.). What is open source?

Oxford Lexico. (n.d.). Inclusivity. In dictionary. Retrieved April  26, 2022, from

TechTarget Contributor. (2012, Oct). alt text (alternative text). (n.d.). Compilations, Collective and Derivative Works.


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CAUL Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program: Foundations Copyright © 2024 by Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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