Open Education

Open, Adapt, Learn

The 5R’s of open provide a helpful reminder of the affordances of OER. I know I can reuse these learning materials for my own purposes and share these materials with others by redistributing them, so they can be very powerful learning tools. However, I think that the “R’s” that are less discussed are the most powerful: the ability to revise and remix.

The 5R’s of Open Education – The 5 Rs of OER is a derivative of the 5 R Permissions of OER by Lumen Learning, licensed under CC BY 4.0.


Revising affords one the opportunity to adapt and modify the materials for their own purposes. When revising, one is changing the material with something new. I might revise learning materials to:

  • Change the images so they show local examples, people, events, and more
  • Add new information so the material is more up to date with recent events
  • Add examples that are correlated with a different discipline
  • Translate the learning materials to make the more accessible
  • Revise the langauge use so that it’s easier or more challenging based on my students’ needs
  • Add interactive features, such as questions that check for understanding or allow one to reflect before moving on
  • Apply an innovative technology to the original materials making it more user friendly, accessible for those with disabilities, and more effective or engaging
  • Rearrage content so that it follows a logical order for my purposes
  • Eliminate or reduce content that is unrelated to purposes


Remixing affords one the opportunity to adapt and modify the material by combining it with other material that exists elsewhere. I might remix learning materials to:

American Gothic remixed with the Minions from Despicable Me courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Show an example of the content with a killer YouTube video
  • Extend the argument posed by incorporating a related TedTalk or podcast
  • Pull together different resources to create something new, a mash-up
  • Incorporate text, images, music, or video that change the tone of the resource
  • Adding pictures from one source to situate them within another resource

Why are these the most powerful R’s?

I’m glad you asked. Adapting OER by revising and remixing allows us to get creative and make learning more relevant, fun, flexible, accessible, and, thus, effective! By adapting content, educators can ensure their students see others like them in their learning materials, make the content more understandable, localize the content with resources close to home or broaden it to show examples from around the world, embed challenges their students would enjoy solving, and more.

The Evolution of Remix Culture by Normative

Others are already adapting resources in what’s known as the “remix culture”. Why not incorporate this culture into education and empower educators and students alike through adaptation challenges.

In fact, imagine what would happen if educators invited their students to adapt their learning materials, with the expertise and knowledge of their instructor to ensure accurate, high-quality materials are created. Oh wait, that’s already happening in open education. It’s known as open pedagogy . . . more on that next week!

2 replies on “Open, Adapt, Learn”

I really liked how this blog post highlighted the two most important aspects of OERs. I definitely agree that remixing and revising are critical in making education more accessible to students everywhere. Open pedagogy seems so beneficial, largely because it encompasses remixing/revising. I love how it develops creativity and self-empowerment in students!

I was interesting in the “open pedagogy” reading for this class, and I am glad I picked it! Seeing how instructors can adapt and mold the learning materials in order to best fit their class environment is very interesting. Of course, seeing the results with it (the statistics on class improvement/morale with OER) is even more intriguing.

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