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.

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.

BC Campus

Visit BC Campus OpenEd Resources

BC Campus a shared catalogue of open textbooks with Campus Manitoba and also offers toolkits to faculty on how to create and adapt OERs. All textbooks in this collection have been created, reviewed or adapted by faculty at institutions in British Columbia.

Find Textbooks by Subject

  • Follow this link to the BC Campus OpenEd catalogue.
  • Choose your subject on the left.
  • Click on the title of the textbook to view the download options available.

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.

OER by Discipline Guide

Visit OER by Discipline Guide

The OER by Discipline Guide from McMaster University 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

  • Choose “Read Book” from the McMaster OER by Discipline Guide
  • Choose your subject from the Contents menu on the left.
  • Click on the book title to access the book from it’s original source.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Import, edit, format, incorporate interactive content, and publish your adapted OER in multiple formats using Pressbooks. Contact us to discuss access to Pressbooks.

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