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

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.

OER by Discipline Guide

Visit OER by Discipline Guide

The OER by Discipline Guide is a reference resource for open textbook materials organized by subject area. It is an open work in progress that is updated regularly.

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.

eCampusOntario

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 provide a database of OERs for a wide range of levels and disciplines. The collection includes textbooks, lesson plans, lectures, and other modules.

OASIS

Visit OASIS

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

Visit MERLOT

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.

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.

Adapting OERs

You may find an OER that requires modification for your context. Or you may find multiple OERs that you would like to combine parts of, which is referred to as “remixing.” In these cases, you can adapt the OER to meet your needs. The Campus Manitoba catalogue offers resources to help you get started on adaption and self publishing. Here are some examples.

  • Adaptation Guide
  • Accessibility Toolkit

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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 U of M login as usual.

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.

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