Using Free and Open Online Resources: Licensing and Collections


  • Norm Friesen Thompson Rivers University


The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the “open” or “free” resources and materials available from online collections and providers that may be of significant strategic value to schools, universities and to other organizations with educational mandates, such as museums and archives. The initial sections of this paper describe some of the most basic characteristics of “open source,” or more accurately, “creative commons” licensing for cultural and educational resources. These sections also outline criteria for the inclusion of items in the annotated listing that is provided in the remainder of the document. This listing provides details for a number of recommended collections of resources with alternative licences, indicating the terms governing their use in each case.

Author Biography

Norm Friesen, Thompson Rivers University

Dr. Norm Friesen is Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. Dr. Friesen is the author of “Re-Thinking E-Learning Research: Foundations, Methods and Practices” (Peter Lang, 2009), and is co-editor of the open, online peer-reviewed journal, “Phenomenology & Practice”.