Learning Commons | Cardinal Cushing Library
Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What is an OER?
Open Educational Resources 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.   

OERs allow people to: 
Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways
Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new
Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others
from http://opencontent.org/definition/

OERs at Emmanuel
information call out iconWhat are Faculty working on at Emmanuel Right now?
  • An ECLearn site that is a collaborative space for faculty to share and find OER resources.  Contact Donna Marchand - marchandd@emmanuel.edu or Florencia Gabriele - gabrielef@emmanuel.edu for access to the site.
  • Join the OER Professional Learning Community at Emmanuel and explore Open Educational Resources for your discipline, learn to reuse, revise, and remix OERs, collaborate with colleagues or plan, create, and implement your own OER projects. Regular monthly meetings begin Fall 2019
Adapted from:
Creative Commons License
Lansing Community College (LCC) Library Research Guide on Open Educational Resources (OER) by Regina Gong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
OASIS Search

OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 91 different sources across 374 subject areas.
More OER Resources
Open Educational Resources can be found in OER repositories or OER textbook collections. Some of these materials, due to their open license and popularity, may appear in multiple collections.

OpenStax College
An initiative of Rice University that provides free, faculty-authored and peer-reviewed online textbooks.  The website currently provides textbooks for introductory courses in mathematics, science, and social science disciplines.  The materials are readable on the web, are downloadable in PDF and EPUB formats, and can be printed for just the cost of printing.  Textbooks are customizable through a resource sharing platform, OpenStax CNX.

Open SUNY Textbooks - from State University of New York Libraries

Open Textbook Library - from the University of Minnesota

A repository hosted at California State University that contains over 40,000 materials, many of which have undergone some level of peer review.  It contains both unique resources and resources redistributed from other sites, with material types ranging from textbooks to case studies and quizzes.  Offers a tool to edit and “remix” existing open resources or to create and share your own.

OER Commons 
Created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.  It contains nearly 60,000 diverse college-level materials. Includes a tool called Open Author for creating and sharing text or multimedia learning resources.

BCcampus Open Textbook Project
Initiative of British Columbia to make open textbooks avaiable for especially high-enrollment courses.

A non-profit organization committed to freeing the textbook from the limitations and costs of traditional textbooks. Our open and freely accessible LibreTexts provide a more engaging learning experience for students without the financial burden.

EdX, OpenCourseWare, Khan Academy and other online course sites offer course notes, reading and assignment ideas, and multimedia components that may have an open license.
Zero Textbook Cost Alternatives
Zero Textbook Cost Courses are  courses that do not require students to purchase a traditional textbook. Readings for these courses may include recommended books, library materials, or materials provided at no cost by the instructor. Students may be asked to print out materials, if the materials are provided free of charge.

Zero Textbook Cost resources at the Emmanuel College Library include Library Course Reserves, E-books, Journal Articles, or Streaming Vidoes that are used as zero textbook cost alternatives or supplemental materials to enhance delivery of a course.

Note: Please use permanent links when assigning or linking to these resources to ensure the Library can track usage.

Not sure how to find the permanent links?  Want us to find them for you?
Take advantage of the Library's EZ Link service. Contact Anne Hancock (hancoan@emmanuel.edu) for details.
Google Advanced Search Tips
If you are having difficulty locating resources in your subject area a Google search may be helpful.  Google's Advanced Search page allows users to filter results by "usage rights."
  1. To located Google's Advanced Search page go to "Settings" (bottom right corner of the page) and select "Advanced search."
  2. On the Advanced Search page enter your search terms.
  3. Next go to the "usage rights" drop down menu and select “free to use, share, or modify."
  4. You should always verify the license and determine exact terms of use
Open Image Resources
Find open image resources for your ECLearn courses or classroom presentations

Wikimedia Commons
Flickr Creative Commons
Government websites
Creative Commons
Google Image Search
How do I adopt an OER textbook?
Provide your students an alternative to expensive textbooks by following these steps:
  1. Find the right textbook by browsing through some of the resources listed in this guide.
  2. Search for the appropriate textbooks for your course.
  3. Review and evaluate the textbooks based on the content and whether it suits your teaching style and your students.
  4. Decide if you want to use the textbook as is, edit, or modify the contents. One of the benefits of open textbooks is flexibility to customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire. If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the licensing allows that. Different repositories will have different options for editing and publishing revised copies.
  5. Distribute to your students by uploading into your ECLearn page. You can select the best format to distribute to your class such as online, or downloadable PDF.
Some professional groups and learned societies are beginning to provide lists of recommended OERs in their areas of expertise.  These recommended resources have undergone some form of evaluation.  Check back often for updates from these groups.

American Institute of Mathematics
How do I evaluate an OER?
As faculty, you assess textbooks against a set of criteria that reflects your long experience and knowledge of student needs. You do the same with Open Textbooks, but there are a few additional considerations.

  • Accuracy of material
  • Richness
  • Depth
  • Breadth
  • Timeliness
  • Cultural context
  • Writing quality and tone
  • Reading level
  • Organization
  • Visual presentation
  • Hierarchy of information
  • Collateral materials

Additional Criteria for Considetation
  • Accessibility online
  • Production options - Is the book available in more than one format? Printed? Bound? PDF?
  • Delivery options - Is a bound copy available at a very low price? Will your bookstore be able to carry the printed version?
  • Interactivity  - If the online version includes interactive software or multi-media files, are they accessible and cross platform?
  • Consistency between online and printed presentation-Are the online and printed versions comparable in organization and basic appearance? Will you be able to identify locations in either with minimal confusion for students?
  • Collateral material - If there are test banks, interactives, or other enrichment materials, are they in a format you can use? Are they accessible? Are they free or very inexpensive?
Creative Commons License
Lansing Community College (LCC) Library Research Guide on Open Educational Resources (OER) by Regina Gong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Understanding Licenses
Difference between open license, public domain and all rights reserved copyright

Image by Boyoung Chae (Own work) [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons