Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. (Unesco). OER exist in a wide variety of formats including textbooks, video lectures, syllabi, and more, up to full courses such as MIT OpenCourseWare. Recent surveys indicate their use has skyrocketed in higher education, often promoted by individual faculty initiative, governmental and institutional mandates, and student activism.
OneSearch already includes many OER titles, but for more targeted searching try the search boxes below. For sample titles & disciplinary collections, see the Finding OER tabs.
Let us help!
Faculty and students who would like assistance identifying OERs for use in a particular course or research project are encouraged to contact the library.
Why choose an OER?
A few reasons for faculty to consider utilizing OER for textbooks & class assignments:
OERs directly reduce textbook costs and related stresses for all students, especially benefiting students from lower-income families.
With the recent proliferation and escalating volume of OER creation, OERs increasingly represent an option comparable in quality to print and digital textbooks from major commercial publishers.
Ease of use and adaptability
OERs are almost always available in digital format, providing immediate accessibility. OERs are customizable for different educational goals, allowing faculty greater options for innovative pedagogy as well as for student engagement with course learning materials.
OERs contribute to an academic culture of openness and collaboration. They also increase opportunities for faculty experimentation with and composition of textbooks and other learning objects.
Created by SUNY Geneseo, Oasis searches approximately 80 college-level OER repositories, including OpenStax (Rice), the Open Textbook Library (UMinnesota), and our own Wesleyan University Press open ebooks.
An even more expansive search engine from George Mason University, MOM includes OASIS in its search results, as well as MERLOT (California State University), HathiTrust Digital Library, the Digital Public Library of America, and other large repositories of open access material.