OER 2020-05-13T07:55:42+00:00

Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

As the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation explains, OER are “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 repurposing by others. OER 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 Use OER?

OER are about more than free or low cost textbooks and course materials (though that is nothing to sneeze at).  OER give faculty access to free, customizable learning materials, tools for better student engagement, and opportunities to learn and share with a far-reaching community of educators. For students, in addition to the potential cost savings, OER provide supplementary resources to enhance the educational experience and extend learning beyond the classroom.

Learn about OER copyright and Open Licensing here.


Finding the perfect resource from among so many sources can be a bit overwhelming. Below is a list (by no means comprehensive) of some places to get you started. If you are interested in employing OER in your classroom, you may also contact the ECE for some help in guiding you down the path.

This section focuses on textbooks released under a Creative Commons or other open license.  Depending on type of license used, they are genearlly free to use and modify without permission.

All-in-one sites for OER textbooks, course materials, multi-media, etc.

Entire web-based courses with downloadable course materials.  MIT’s site is pretty impressive. Their mission: “The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering

There are just a few of the many places to find openly-licensed videos, images or illustrations. These sites may also contain copyrighted materials, but it is fairly easy to access the license information and limit your searches to open-licensed resources.


Images & Illustrations (mostly)

The following sites aren’t technically “open” but have some cool free and low cost resources—so worth a look.


Open Stax College (Rice University)
MIT Open Courseware
The Khan Academy


A Basic Guide to OPEN Educational
Resources (OER)

The 5 Rs of Open Content
7 Things You Should Know About
Open Education Resources

The Cost and Quality of Open


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