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What is OER?
With the rising cost of textbooks, students' ability to access their required learning materials can often be a barrier to fully participating in their courses and succeeding in their studies. At the same time, the rapid change in technology continues to impact how we engage with information. Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials that provide everyone with free and perpetual permission to access, use, and modify the resource.
This guide provides a list of resources and repositories for finding high-quality academic OER that instructors can use in their teaching.
5R Activities of OER
OER provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:
- Retain – make, own, and control a copy of the resource
- Reuse – use your copy of the resource publicly
- Revise – edit, adapt, and modify your copy
- Remix – combine the original or revised copy with other existing material to create something new
- Redistribute – share copies of the original, revised, or remixed copy with others
Source: Creative Commons
The following list of resources includes collections of Open Textbooks. These textbooks are free to access and use, but be sure to check licensing permissions if you want to modify or make changes to any materials.
BCcampus Open Ed
Free, open textbooks created as part of the BC Open Textbook Project.
Free, open textbooks developed and peer-reviewed by educators. Instructors can request faculty access to adopt one of their books and receive faculty-only materials, like PowerPoint slides, solutions manuals, and a Blackboard course cartridge.
Open SUNY Textbooks
An open access textbook publishing initiative established by the State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants.
Open Textbook Library
Free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks supported by the Open Textbook Initiative.
USG Open Textbooks
A collection of open textbooks created by institutions within the University System of Georgia. A part of Galileo Open Learning Materials.
Open Access Books
The following list of resources includes collections of Open Access academic books. These books are free to access and use, but be sure to check licensing permissions if you want to modify or make changes to any materials.
DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books
"The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers are invited to provide metadata of their Open Access books to DOAB. Metadata will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues, helping scholars and students to discover the books. The directory will be open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards." -- Website
"The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of Open Access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of dissemination, quality assurance and digital preservation." -- website
The following list of repositories includes a variety of OER, including books, assignments, lectures, and courses. The content is free to access and use, but be sure to check licensing permissions if you want to modify or make changes to any materials.
Mason OER Metafinder
Performs a simultaneous search across multiple OER repositories.
Provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world.
A search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 97 different sources and contains 385,629 records.
A public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum.