What are open educational resources?

Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching resources available in a variety of formats that have an open copyright license. This allows anyone to use, adapt and share them as needed. There are different types of open copyright licenses that allow a range of permissions to the user. Many of these are administered by Creative Commons.

Open educational resources and open pedagogy have many benefits for both faculty and students. 

  • Allowing faculty to adapt teaching materials to match the content of their courses. 
  • Providing students the opportunity to create, collaborate, and share their learning. 
  • Lowering the cost of education making it more accessible and affordable for all. 

Support for OERs

Advance Open Ed provides financial and practical support along with educational opportunities to help the UM community create, adapt, and adopt open educational resources (OER).

Grant application deadline is September 29.

Learn more and apply

Find open educational resources by subject

Open educational resources can be accessed and downloaded from several different websites. Many of these sources allow you to search by subject area making it easy to identify potential textbooks for your courses.

UM's OER by Discipline Guide

Visit OER by Discipline Guide

The OER by Discipline Guide: University of Manitoba edition is a reference resource customized for use at the UM, listing open textbook materials organized by faculty and department. It is an open work in progress that is updated periodically.

Find Textbooks by Subject

  • Scroll down to choose your faculty and department.
  • Click on the book title to access the book from its original source.

Open Ed Manitoba

Visit OpenEd Manitoba

  • Choose your subject on the left.
  • Click on the title of the textbook to view the different versions available to download.

Open Textbook Library

Visit Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library includes textbooks authored by academics at several American universities and can be searched by subject area. The collection is made available from the University of Minnesota Centre for Open Education.

How to Find Textbooks by Subject:

  1. Follow this link to the Open Textbook Library catalogue
  2. Choose your subject from the list.
  3. Click on “Read More” to view the contents and download options.

Other sources for OERs

The websites below can be searched for additional OER content. Some websites such as ECampus Ontario provide access to publications already available through BC Campus. Other websites, such as OASIS and George Mason allow you to search multiple catalogues simultaneously.


Visit eCampusOntario

E-Campus Ontario is a shared collection of textbooks and other OERs, including textbooks from the BC Campus and Campus Manitoba catalogue. The collection also includes learning modules and video lectures.

Open Stax

Visit OpenStax

Open Stax is a collection of open peer-reviewed materials from Rice University. The textbooks available are for introductory U.S. college level courses. Open Stax requires users to create a free account.

OER Commons

Visit OER Commons

OER Commons is a repository for open learning materials. The collection includes textbooks, lesson plans, lectures, and other modules.



OASIS is an OER search engine available from SUNY that indexes 97 different sources for OERs. In addition to textbooks, OASIS can be searched for videos, primary sources, lessons, and other course materials.



MERLOT is a major OER repository, consisting of tens of thousands of learning materials. Materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability prior to adding, resulting in a more selective collection.

Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)

Visit Mason OER Metafinder

The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) searches 21 different sources of OERs but unlike other search engines it also searches for materials in public databases such as Hathi Trust and DPLA.



The OER Search Index can be used to find multiple resource types, with an emphasis on video. You may wish to use the language filter to reduce irrelevant content. 

Directory of Open Access Books

Visit Directory of Open Access Books

The Directory of Open Access Books is an extensive collection of peer reviewed materials from several international publishers. DOAB materials are also available through the UM Libraries search.

Read about evaluating OERs.

Creating and adapting OERs

The Campus Manitoba catalogue offers resources to help you get started on adaption and self publishing. Here are some examples.

  • Cover page for UM OER Starter Kit publication.
    OER Starter Kit: A guide to open publishing at the University of Manitoba
  • Cover page for UM OER Pressbooks starter guide.
    Using Pressbooks: A reference guide for OER creators
  • Cover page for UM pressbooks template guide.
    University of Manitoba Pressbooks template
  • Adapting or creating OER with Pressbooks

    Import, edit, format, incorporate interactive content, and publish in multiple formats using UM Libraries license to Pressbooks.

    To get started, visit the Campus Manitoba Pressbooks network, choose Sign In, Institutional Login, and then University of Manitoba. From here you can use your UM login as usual. UM Learn integration now allows users to include private Pressbooks content into their courses for students to access. Learn how to integrate OER into UM Learn.

    For more technical guidance, visit the Pressbooks User Guide and the Pressbooks FAQ. You can also look through the Pressbooks Directory to find examples.

    View a recorded workshop about Pressbooks from the Libraries. Pressbooks also holds live training sessions. Visit the PressbooksEDU Training Schedule and register to participate.

  • This panel discussion was held on March 9, 2022 as part of Open Education Week, and featured the following speakers:

    • Dr. Nicholas Harland, an instructor in the department of Mathematics, who regularly teaches with OER
    • Dr. Mark Meagher, an educational developer at the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
    • Dr. Brianne Collins, an educational developer at the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
    • Carley McDougall from Campus Manitoba who supports OER use in postsecondary institutions throughout the province

Creative Commons licenses

OERs are usually licensed using Creative Commons (CC) licenses. To learn about what the different CC licenses allow, see the Creative Commons guide