Open Education Resources (OER) Guide

What are Open Education Resources?

  • As defined by UNESCO (2002 Forum on Open Courseware)
    Teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work.
  • As defined by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
    Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Why OER? - OER for Educators

  1. 5 Things You Should Read about Open Educational Resources: From the Educause Learning Initiative
  2. Open Education Fact SheetA compilation from ACRL
  3. Open Textbooks: From SPARC, The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
  4. A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students (2015): From Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups)
  5. Cost savings achieved in two semesters through the adoption of OER (2014)
  6. How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability (2010)
  7. Models of Open Educational Resources (2005)

An Open Education Reader
This is a collection of readings on open education with commentary created for a gradaute course at Brigham Young University and edited by David Wiley. It includes chapters on intellectual property, free software, open source, open content, open textbooks, and research in open education.

An Examination of the Lived Experience of Eleven Educators Who Have Implemented Open Textbooks in Their Teaching
A masters thesis by Danielle Paradis out of Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC. Of particular interest is Chapter 4, Results. It includes quotes from teachers on how they found out about OERs, their experience teaching with them, and motivations behind use.

Faculty Perspectives on Open Educational Resources and Open Access

Getting Started

Course Mapping Template - Bridgewater State University
Simple course mapping template to use in selection of OER.

OER Quick Introduction - Bridgewater State University
A brief power point introduction to OER

Back To Top


OER Resources

Academic Pub
AcademicPub, a product of SharedBook Inc., is a service for higher education that allows faculty and administrators to create custom course materials from a variety of sources and present the assembled content in print or digital formats. Log on to AcademicPub and select content you would like to use, either from the AcademicPub library or from your own collection. AcademicPub helps to provide the necessary copyright clearance, creates the custom book in real-time, and allows faculty to view the assembled course materials (and the pricing to their students) immediately.

MERLOT
The Multimedia Educational Resource for Online Teaching (MERLOT), developed by the California State University Center for Distributed Learning in 1997, offers access to thousands of open educational materials. MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services. Links to online learning materials are collected here along with assignments and comments to enhance the teaching experience of an exercise. Materials are added by MERLOT members after a peer-review process.

OER Commons
Open Education Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials freely available for everyone to use, whether you are a teacher or a learner. This includes full courses, modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world. OER Commons is a dynamic digital content hub, offering a suite of OER implementation supports.

Open Course Library
The Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of our materials (also called open educational resources, or OER) are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less). Many of the courses can be taught at no cost to students. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license.and are available for download and editing via Google Docs.

Open Education Consortium
The Open Education Consortium is a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education and its impact on global education. The Open Education Consortium realizes change by leveraging its sources of expert opinion, its global network and its position as the principal voice of open education. Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide. Open Texbooks lists texts by subject discipline. Also Free (but not Open) Copyrighted Textbooks listing is available.

Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN)
The Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) provides free support and technical assistance to all grantees of the $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program from the U.S. Department of Labor. OPEN services are provided by Creative Commons (CC), the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University, Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC), which have individual but complementary areas of expertise in openness and the design of educational resources. Funding comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The "Find OER" resources page provides an extensive list of sources for OER content plus search strategies.

Open.Michigan
Open.Michigan encourages researchers, learners, and instructors to maximize the impact and reach of their scholarly work through open sharing. Open.Michigan helps people find, use, and create openly licensed content and provides a space to share their educational content.

Wikiversity
Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning.

OpenStax CNX
Dr. Richard Baraniuk founded OpenStax (then Connexions) in 1999 at Rice University to provide authors and learners with an open space where they can share and freely adapt educational materials such as courses, books, and reports. Today, OpenStax CNX is a dynamic non-profit digital ecosystem serving millions of users per month in the delivery of educational content to improve learning outcomes. There are tens of thousands of learning objects, called pages, that are organized into thousands of textbook-style books in a host of disciplines, all easily accessible online and downloadable to almost any device, anywhere, anytime.

Open Culture
Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. The site compiles content from online courses, movies, audio books, eBooks, and MOOCS - all freely available.

Teaching Commons
The Teaching Commons brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks.


Open Courses

MIT Open Courseware
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. To date, over 2,100 courses have been published.

Online Statistics Education: An Interactive Multimedia Course of Study
This informative site provides everything a big, fat, hard-covered stats book does but it in an open access, easily navigable web format. Designed and developed by David Lane at Rice University, with a host of helpful co-authors and funding from the National Science Foundation. All chapters include multiple video presentations on such topics as quantitative variables, histograms, and one-factor ANOVA.

Open Learning Initiative
The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering free, innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. OLI's goal is to create high-quality courses and contribute original research to improve learning and transform higher education.

Open Yale Courses
Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.

webcast.berkeley
webcast.berkeley is UC Berkeley's central service for online video and audio for students and learners around the globe.

Back To Top


Open Textbooks

2012 Book Project
An archive of mostly entry-level college, Creative Commons-licensed, textbooks issued in 2012 for free by a textbook publisher.

AcademicPub - www.academicpub.com
AcademicPub is a build-your-own-textbook service that offers students three different options for purchasing the book: digital download, paperback, or hardcover. Instructors can create a customized textbook with book chapters, case studies and journal articles. AcademicPub provides services to track how much royalties will cost for each custom textbook.

Affordable Learning Georgia
A collaborative effort by the University System of Georgia (USG) and California State University to replace high cost textbooks across the Georgia system. The site features a list of the top 50 enrolled classes along with approved open textbooks for those classes.

The American Yawp
The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors - experienced college-level instructors - volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms.

Bookoon
A Denmark-based publishing company that offers free eBooks and textbooks in the Sciences, Management, Accounting, Math, Law, Languages and more.

Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL)
A federally funded collection of OER based at the University of Texas that offers primarily foreign language educational resources.

College Open Textbooks (COT) - http://collegeopentextbooks.org/
Approximately 100 peer-reviewed open textbooks collected by both non-profit and for-profit corporations. Includes a range of formats and copyright licenses, although all are free for use. College Open Textbooks (COT) is a project of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Open Doors Group. The COT Collaborative is collection of colleges, governmental agencies, education non-profits, and other education-related organizations that are focused on the mission of driving awareness, adoptions, and affordability of open textbooks. Our focus is on community colleges and other 2-year institutions of higher education and the first two years (lower division) of 4-year institutions. Some of our activities also apply to K-12, upper division, graduate school, and life-long learning. An open textbook is an integrated course-associated learning tool that is in the public domain or has been open-licensed by the copyright holder to permit re-use without the necessity of asking permission of the copyright holder. Open textbooks are free or inexpensive on the web and modestly priced for downloads, use on eReaders, or in bound format.

Global Text Project - http://globaltext.terry.uga.edu/
A free library of thousands of texts for students in a range of topics covered in a university undergraduate program. Individual book chapters can be opened and modified to fit your own needs. The Global Text Project publishes electronic texts for students in the developing world. It also maintains a database of links to books for such students. The Global Text Project is a joint project of the Terry College of Business of the University of Georgia and The Daniels College of Business of the University of Denver.

InTech Open Science
A multidisciplinary Open Access publisher of books and journals covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine. InTech has published more than 850 Open Access books, and provides support services for faculty who wish to publish a book or journal and make it available via Open Access. Educators are freely permitted to use the material for teaching, conference presentations, lectures and other non-commercial professional activities.

Lumen Pressbooks
A collection of course materials developed by Lumen Learning, Lumen Learning was co-founded by open education visionary Dr. David Wiley and education technology strategist Kim Thanos, Lumen is dedicated to facilitating broad, successful adoption of OER.

MIT OpenCourseware - Online Textbooks
Online textbooks corresponding to MIT OpenCourseWare. Some of these online textbooks are open-licensed electronic versions of print books. Others are self-published online books, or course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook.

NOBA
NOBA is a 501(c)3 that offers free, customizeable, Creative Commons licensed psychology textbooks. Features more than 100 college-level chapters (focused on psychology topics), written by experts and licensed under Creative Commons, that can be used to build customized digital textbooks. Search the catalog of chapters; organize the topics and chapters in the order you choose; "publish" the resulting digital text either online or as a downloadable PDF.

Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project
A pilot project for the Ohio Textbook HQ, the Ohio Digital Bookshelf aims to provide inexpensive higher-ed textbooks. Free registration required to view textbooks.

Open Book Publishers
A UK project that publishes books under open licences. They focus mostly on scholarly monographs but have a number of titles that could be used as open textbooks. PDF and HTML versions are free. Print copies are available via print on demand (POD) for between $20-$30.

Open Culture - List of Open Textbooks
A curated list of open textbooks from the publishers of the Open Culture website, a compendium of all things open on the web.

Open SUNY Textbooks
An open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.

Open Textbook Catalog
A catalog of open access textbooks to be reviewed by faculty members, made available by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development. All textbooks in this catalog are openly licensed, complete, and available in print at very little cost. Subjects covered: Accounting & Finance; Business, Management & Marketing; Computer Science & Information Systems; Economics; General Education; Humanities & Language; Mathematics & Statistics; Natural & Physical Sciences; Social Sciences.

Open Textbook Library
Open textbooks are complete textbooks licensed so teachers and students can freely use, adapt, and distribute the material. Open textbooks can be downloaded for no cost, or printed inexpensively. This library is a tool to help instructors find affordable, quality textbook solutions. All textbooks in this library are complete and openly licensed.

OpenEd at BCcampus
A Canadian Government funded project, begun in 2012, that provides students with open textbooks and other open educational resources.

Opensource Textbooks
From the Internet Archives: over 2,000 textbooks, divided into sub-collections by discipline.

OpenStax College
OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers. Adopt a book today for a turnkey classroom solution or modify it to suit your teaching approach. Free online and low-cost in print, OpenStax College books are built for today's student budgets.

SmARThistory
A free and open, online, not-for-profit art history textbook with complete multimedia content from Khan Academy.

Textbook Media
Offers a number of e-Textbooks sorted by author and topic. All of the textbooks can be downloaded for free and many of them can be purchased in print form.

Textbook Revolution
A student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors. The approach is to bring all of the free textbooks they can find together in one place, review them, and let the best rise to the top and find their way into the hands of students in classrooms around the world.

Back To Top


Open Audiovisual Resources

Open Audio Resources

Bandcamp
?
Music uploaded to Bandcamp with a Creative Commons license.

CCmixter
?A community music remixing site featuring remixes and samples licensed under Creative Commons licenses. Over 38,000 (and growing) pieces of music are available.

The Free Music Archive
A collection of high-quality, legal audio material curated by WFMU, a beloved freeform radio station in Jersey City, NJ. All material on the site contains a Creative Commons license so is available to use for free.

Freesound
A collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, and more.

Internet Archive: Audio
A massive collection of freely available audio material that ranges from the Grateful Dead to old time radio shows, news programming, poetry and more.

Opsound
Similar to Freesound, Opsound is a database of freely available music from hundreds of genres and artists started as a project of the artist Sal Randolph.Public Domain Project. Thousands of audio, image, and video files in the public domain from the collection of the Pond5 stock footage company.

YouTube Audio Library
A collection of free downloadable music for use in video or audio projects.

Wikimedia Commons: Sounds
A database of 17,992,841 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

World Hip Hop Beats
A collection of Creative Commons licensed hip hop beats.

Open Image Resources

Artstor Images for Academic Publishing (IAP)
Free images for use in academic publishing, provided by museum collections.

CC Search
Search across several repositories, including YouTube, Google, SoundCloud, and more, for still images, music, and videos.

Flickr: Creative Commons
A collection of images published on Flickr using a Creative Commons license.

Getty Open Content Images
Search over 10,000 images from Getty Museum and Research Institute collections made available for download.

NY Public Library Digital Gallery
Open access to over 700,000 digital images from the new York Public Library's collections.

Public Domain Project
Thousands of audio, image, and video files in the public domain from the collection of the Pond5 stock footage company.

Shared Shelf Commons
An open-access database of image collections shared by institutional users of Shared Shelf.

U.S. Government Photos and Images
A vast collection of photos and images from the U.S. Government, many of which are in the public domain and free to use.

Wellcome Images
Providing access to the visual collections of the Wellcome Library, which documents "2000 years of human culture" with a focus on biomedical imagery. Most images are open access, with others available for paid licensing.

Open Video Resources

Art History Teaching Resources
A peer-populated platform for art history teachers. Has a few museum videos in connection with specific classes, mostly teaching materials. Very well curated.

CC Search
Search across several repositories, including YouTube, Google, SoundCloud, and more, for still images, music, and videos.

Internet Archive - Moving Image Archive
Over 1.5 million digitized videos and clips, including cartoons, commercials and classic films, many public domain or available via Creative Commons license.

The Open Video Project
A repository of open access digitized videos for education and learning purposes.

Public Domain Project
Thousands of audio, image, and video files in the public domain from the collection of the Pond5 stock footage company.

Back To Top


OER Repositories

The following are links to aggregators containing free, open source, creative commons licensed, or public domain educational material.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
Contains links to a wide range of multimedia objects form libraries, archives and museums around the United States. The copyright status of items vary because it is collected from many sources. However, many items are public domain or available for re-use, and there is information in a "rights" field for each item.

MedEdPORTAL
Free online peer-reviewed publication service for medical resources such as teaching materials, assessment tools and faculty development. Promotes educational collaboration through the open exchange of scholarly educational resources. Users can download and utilize any and all of the published resources for educational purposes without legal infringements.

NanoHUB
Provides over 1600 open teaching and learning resources: online presentations; course material; learning modules; podcasts; simulation tools. Created by the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

WikiEducator
An evolving online community intended for the planning of education projects linked with the development of free content and the development of free content on WikiEducator for free learning.

Back To Top


Open Education Initiatives in Massachusetts Public Colleges and Universities

UMass Amherst
Open Education Initiative. Information sessions for faculty are held in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Faculty apply for this initiative with grant proposal deadlines. Strong preference is given to faculty who plan to deploy their alternative textbook option by Fall 2016.

Selection Criteria:

  • Proposals are reviewed by representatives of The Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD), Academic Computing, the University Libraries and the IT Program.
  • Grants will be awarded on the basis of:   
    • Strength of application in response to questions
    • Potential savings to UMass students
    • Sustainability of the project to applicant's future courses
    • Preferred implementation date by Fall 2016
    • Click here to see UMass Amherst's Open Education funding application: http://goo.gl/forms/xTQqwDqKFp  

Back To Top


Open Advocacy

Academic Commons
Academic Commons is dedicated to the development of free web-based resources for academic professionals focusing on liberal arts education via digital tools.The news aggregator showcases current developments and projects in the open education community.   

Creative Commons Education Program
Advocates for the use of Creative Commons licenses in educational materials.

College Open Textbooks
A collection of colleges, governmental agencies, education non-profits, and other education-related organizations that are focused on the mission of driving the awareness and advocacy for open textbooks. Provides training for instructors seeking to utilize open educational resources.

The Hewlett Foundation
Funds grants for Open Educational Resources. Provides resources and also makes their funded OER proposals publicly available.

Open Courseware Consortium
A collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources (SPARC) Coalition
SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. This page highlights SPARC's work in supporting OER work.

Student PIRGs: Affordable Textbooks Campaign
Dedicated to student efforts to make textbooks more affordable.

MassPIRG: UMass Chapter
The Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group is a student-run organization at University of Massachusetts Amherst. They seek solutions for real problems faced by students and the public.

Open Knowledge Foundation
Working on open knowledge projects, such as Open Economics and Open Shakespeare Provides infrastructure for open knowledge projects, communities and resources. For example, we run the KnowledgeForge service and Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network Acting at UK, European and international levels on open knowledge issues. Running open knowledge events, such as OKCon


Open Education Events

Back To Top


Source: UMass Amherst Libraries Open Education Resources
To report problems, include this webpage address  -- (SSB) est. 2 Jun 2015; last revision 28 Nov 2017