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Open Educational Resources

OER for Educators

Academic Commons (http://www.academiccommons.org/)

  • Academic Commons is dedicated to the development of free web-based resources for academic professionals focusing on liberal arts education via digital tools.
  • The news aggregator showcases current developments and projects in the open education community.

AcademicPub (http://www.academicpub.sharedbook.com/)

  • AcademicPub is a build-your-own-textbook service that offers students three different options for purchasing the book: digital download, paperback, or hardcover.
  • Instructors can create a customized textbook with book chapters, case studies and journal articles.
  • AcademicPub provides services to track how much royalties will cost for each custom textbook.

College Open Textbooks (http://collegeopentextbooks.org/)

  • Approximately 100 peer-reviewed open textbooks collected by both non-profit and for-profit corporations.
  • Includes a range of formats and copyright licenses, although all are free for use.

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (http://oerconsortium.org/)

  • The CCCOER collects open access resources for the creation of textbook alternatives, in addition to open content repositories and developmental tools.
  • Access to over 500 open texbooks, as well as a useful guide to creating and implementing your own open access textbook.

Connexions (http://cnx.org)

  • Connexions contains educational materials for everyone - from children to college students to professionals - organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger collections or courses
  • All content is free to use and reuse under the Creative Commons attribution license

InTech (http://www.intechweb.org/.com)

  • A multidisciplinary Open Access publisher of books and journals covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine.
  • InTech as published more than 850 Open Access books, and provides support services for faculty who wish to publish a book or journal and make it available via Open Access.

Internet Archive (https://archive.org/index.php​)

  • Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more. The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 8,000,000 fully accessible public domain eBooks. This includes a special modern collection of over 500,000 eBooks for users with print disabilities, and a very interesting curated, modern collection for the world at large..

MDPI - Open Access Publishing: (http://www.mdpi.com)

  • MDPI.com, the website of the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, is a platform for peer-reviewed, scientific open-access journals operated by MDPI AG.

MedEdPORTAL (http://services.aamc.org)

  • Free online peer-reviewed publication service for medical resources such as teaching materials, assessment tools and faculty development.
  • Promotes educational collaboration through the open exchange of scholarly educational resources.
  • Users can download and utilize any and all of the published resources for educational purposes without legal infringements.

MERLOT (http://www.merlot.org/melot/index.html)

  • A free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education
  • Links to online learning materials are collected here along with assignments and comments to enhance the teaching experience of an exercise

NanoHUB (http://nanohub.org)

  • Provides over 1600 open teaching and learning resources: online presentations; course material; learning modules; podcasts; simulation tools.
  • Created by the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology

National Archives and Records Administration: (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/)

  • provides virtual exhibits related to United States history.

Open Access Textbooks (http://www.openaccesstextbooks.org/index.html)

OER Commons: Open Textbooks (http://www.oercommons.org/)

  • This catalog contains hundreds of college-level open textbooks from higher education institutions around the world.

Open Course Library (http://opencourselibrary.org/)

  • Range of materials including syllabi, course activities, and assessments created by faculty, instructional designers, librarians, other experts. Some of these materials are intended to be paired with textbooks.

  • This is a smaller collection, but is sponsored by the Washington State Board of Education and therefore the materials have undergone testing for accessibility and assessed for quality.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license.and are available for download and editing via Google Docs.

Open Courseware Consortium (http://www.ocwconsortium.org)

  • Free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses.
  • A collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a board and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.

OpenStax College (http://openstaxcollege.org/)

  •  OpenStax College offers free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers.

PBS Learning Media:(http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/)

  • A collection of lessons plans, images and videos.

Open Textbook Catalog ( https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/)

  • A catalog of open access textbooks to be reviewed by faculty members, made available by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development.
  • All textbooks in this catalog are openly licenses, complete, and available in print at very little cost.

SmARThistory (http://smarthistory.org/)

  •  A free and open, online, not-for-profit art history textbook with complete multimedia content. 

Student PIRGs: Open Textbooks (http://www.studentpirgs.org)

  • A catalog of information about some of the top examples of open college textbooks, offered online under a license allowing free digital access and inexpensive print options. Material can be easily modified to fit your needs.
  • Subjects covered: Accounting & Finance; Business, Management & Marketing; Computer Science & Information Systems; Economics; General Education; Humanities & Language; Mathematics & Statistics; Natural & Physical Sciences; Social Sciences.

Textbook Revolution (http://textbookrevolution.org/)

  • A student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors
  • The approach is to bring all of the free textbooks they can find together in one place, review them, and let the best rise to the top and find their way into the hands of students in classrooms around the world

The Global Text Project (http://globaltext.terry.uga.edu/)

  • A free library of thousands of texts for students in a range of topics covered in a university undergraduate program
  • Join venture between the Terry College of Business of the University of Georgia and the Daniels College of Business of the University of Denver.
  • Individual book chapters can be opened and modified to fit your own needs.

WikiEducator (http://wikieducator.org/Main_Page)

  • An evolving online community intended for the planning of education projects linked with the development of free content and the development of free content on WikiEducator for free learning.

 

Open Education: How to do it

There are several resources that might be useful to the instructor who would like to know more about the open education movement and how to teach with open education resources.

An Open Education Reader

This is a collection of readings on open education with commentary created for a graduate course at Brigham Young University and edited by David Wiley. It includes chapters on intellectual property, free software, open source, open content, open textbooks, and research in open education.

The Open Education Handbook

This handbook is a deliverable of the LinkedUp Project, and is a primer on the open education ecosystem, information about useful tools and software, references, a glossary of commonly used terms, case studies and examples, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Open Educational Resources (OER) - A Video Primer

Dr. Rory McGreal, the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Educational Resources shares his expertise in a series of 10 short, informative videos that address the what, why, where, and how of OER. Please note that this is Canada-based and therefore one of the chapters is "Where to find quality French-language Open Educational Resources".

An Examination of the Lived Experience of Eleven Educators Who Have Implemented Open Textbooks in Their Teaching

A masters thesis by Danielle Paradis out of Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC. Of particular interest is Chapter 4, Results. It includes quotes from teachers on how they found out about OERs, their experience teaching with them, and motivations behind use. 

Content Management

There are new tools available that allow teachers to gather content from numerous places into one platform. Here are a few examples.

Ginkgotree (http://www.ginkgotree.com/)

  • Allows teachers to bundle course materials in a user-friendly course management system
  • Sponsored by commercial and non-commercial education organizations

AcademicPub (http://www.academicpub.com)

  • Copyright-cleared content
  • Print option available
  • Used by UC Press for textbooks