Why use OER?
- Cost savings: OER are available to students at no cost, enabling students to have equal access course materials. OER initiatives have already saved students more than $1 billion.
- Pedagogical benefits: Open materials can be customized, giving faculty the freedom to create resources tailored to each course. Read more about Open Pedagogy here.
The OER Starter Kit is an open text designed for instructors who are new to OER: Elder, A.K. (2019). The OER Starter Kit. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Digital Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31274/isudp.OER Treasure Hunt: This worksheet can help guide your search for open resources.
For more, watch this video from The Council of Chief State School Officers
OASIS Search: OER search tool developed at SUNY Geneseo; will simultaneously search open content from 80 different sources and contains more than 330,000 records.
Open Textbook Library: A collection of more than 600 complete, open textbooks. All textbooks have been reviewed by faculty, and are either in use at multiple higher education institutions, or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.
OpenStax: Nonprofit educational initiative based at Rice University. OpenStax textbooks are included in Open Textbook Library, but this site provides additional free resources for verified instructors, such as PowerPoint slides and solutions to end-of-chapter problems.
OER Commons: Access to textbooks, syllabi, lesson plans, assessments, lecture notes, and much more.
LibreTexts: Online platform for the construction, customization, and dissemination of open educational resources.
Merlot: Access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners, and researchers.
Bccampus Open Textbook Collection: From BCcampus, "a publicly funded organization that uses information technology to connect the expertise, programs, and resources of all British Columbe post-secondary institutions."
Mason OER Metafinder (MOM): A real-time, federated search of 21 OER content sites.
Open SUNY Textbooks: Search openly licensed educational material authored by SUNY faculty.
Google Advanced Search: Find images, videos or text that you have permission to use by selecting the "usage rights" filter on the Advanced Search screen.
Sites with freely available video collections:
Library of Congress National Screening Room
Moving Image Archive from the Internet Archive
U.S. National Archives videos on YouTube
Sample rubrics for evaluating Open Educational Resources:
- OER Evaluation Criteria (PDF) from Affordable Learning Georgia
- Open Textbook Library review criteria
- Faculty Guide for Evaluating OER developed by BCCampus OpenEd
- Textbook Selection Criteria from Affordable Learning Georgia
Understanding LicensingThe Creative Commons license is the most commonly used license for OER. Open licenses allow for the OER content to be used in the following ways (known as the "5 Rs")
- Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the cotent
- Reuse: use the content in a variety of ways (in a class, on a website, etc.)
- Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify or alter the content
- Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (in a mashup, for example)
- Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original, revised or remixed content
Look for the Creative Commons license to understand how an Open Educational Resource may be used. Some helpful resources for decoding Creative Commons Licenses:
Please note: RSC faculty and students have free, unlimited, simultaneous access to our collection of DRM-free resources, making them ideal for use as course materials at no additional cost to students. However, these resources are protected under copyright, and NOT considered OER.
Below is a selection of DRM-free resources available through the RSC Colleges Libraries:
Sage Research Methods Videos -
Credo Reference -
Credo Information Literacy Videos - A collection of brief animated tutorials on information literacy subjects ranging from the research process, to using and citing sources. Accessible through the RSC Libraries Moodle Page
Nexis Uni -
E-Book Central Ebook Collection - a collection of more than 200,000 ebooks covering a broad range of topics