Resources by Subject
Read More about OER
Welcome to the University Libraries OER Initiative
This site is designed to introduce OERs to the university community. This site is a work in progress. New links and information will be added weekly. We will be adding reviews of OER collections, additional lists of resources for finding OERs, and articles discussing OER implementations and issues.
- OER repository evaluations - what is the best place to find content in specific subject areas.
- OER textbook evaluations - how does the content in open books correlate to traditional textbooks
- How to find OERs - more search tips for specific repositories
- How to share OERs with students and with the world
- How to create OERs
Introduction to Open Educational Resources
What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
OERs are educational materials that are specifically designed by their creator/s to be openly available, and are often licensed to be re-used, re-mixed, and re-distributed. Open is not just about low cost (though that is an important benefit of using OER) but about the ability to take what others have created, customize it for your specific educational needs, and then share your creation with others.
OERs can come in a variety of forms:
- Primary sources - Images, video, and sound recordings. Some sources are in the public domain, while others have been licensed as open by their creators. In addition, many texts that are in the public domain are available online/electronically.
- Learning content - created content that ranges from individual lectures, animations, and assessments to complete courses and textbooks.
The open resource movement has been around for a while, starting with static learning objects (about 2000), and transitioning to OERs that allowed for revision and reuse. It is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is now pushing the OER movement forward. Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,100 per year. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn't purchase a textbook because it was too expensive. Through OERs the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced. OERs also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources.
How to get started
The first step is finding OERs, and that is what this guide is designed to do, so check out
- the Open Textbooks page will link you to repositories of open and free textbooks you can customize and adopt for your courese.
- If you want to know more about the Open Textbook Initiative, which includes financial support for adoption, check out guides.ou.edu/AlternativeTextbooks
- the Discipline Specific OER section will help you find content specific to your discipline, and new discipline areas will be added regularly
- the Finding OER section wil help you navigate through some different sources for OER, as well as tips for finding openly licensed images.
If you have questions about open licensing (Creative Commons Licensing), you can find out more in the guides.ou.edu/CreativeCommons site.
SPECIAL NOTE: This page is specifically designed to introduce OERs to the university community, but don't forget that there are electronic resources available to you through the University Libraries. OU Libraries has licensed journals, databases, primary content, and even ebooks. These resources are restricted to University faculty, staff and students (you have to have an OU log-in to access), they do not allow for customization and re-use in the same way as OERs. Though these are not "open", they are resources that you can make available at not cost for your students.
Who Open Education Matters
All original content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All linked-to content adheres to its respective license.