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). (Source:

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. (Source:


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. (Source:


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 (Source:

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. (Source:

Fair Use

A legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright protected works in certain circumstances. In Canada, this is known as Fair Dealing.


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. (Source: Oxford living dictionary)

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. (Source: Open Education Practices [Wikibooks])

Open educational resources

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

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. (Source:

Open source software

Software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. (Source:

Open textbook

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

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). (Source: 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, 2015).

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.


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The OER Starter Kit Copyright © 2019 by Abbey K. Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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