What is OER?
3 Types of OER (and where to find them)
There are a multitude of OER out there to choose from, including textbooks, courses, multimedia, data, and supplementary materials. These can be found by searching regular search engines (like Google) by using certain keywords but it is much easier to find them through dedicated OER repositories or websites. The examples below are just a sampling of such repositories and websites.
- SOL*R (Shareable Online Learning Resources): This is BCcampus’ OER respository.
- Creative Commons Search: A repository of various types of media, including images, music, and videos.
- OER Commons: A large collection of a variety of types of OER, including textbooks, courses, and ancillary materials.
- MERLOT: “a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.”
- OER Handbook for Educators: “a guide for those who are just getting started in the creation of open educational resources (OER).”
- BCcampus’s BC OpenEd Resources page is a good place to start to find both general information about OER and a collection of textbooks that have been “created … or … re-created from existing [OER] by B.C. post-secondary faculty, reviewed by B.C. faculty and made available under a Creative Commons license.”
- OpenStax: Supported by Rice University, OpenStax has a huge collection of open, peer-reviewed textbooks on a large variety of subjects.
- Project Gutenberg: A collection of tens of thousands of digitized books available for download; audiobooks are also available.
- AU Press: Athabasca University’s AU Press publishes open access journals and books with a focus on Canada, the North American West, and the Circumpolar North.
- Khan Academy: A collection of instructional videos and practice exercises on topics including math, science, programming, history, English, economics, and standardized test prep.
- MIT OpenCourseWare: offers free access to almost all MIT course content
- Saylor Academy: a non-profit organization committed to providing free and open online courses
- Coursera: an educational platform partnered with dozens of prestigious universities and institutions (including MoMA, Stanford, Yale, the University of Toronto, and the University of London)
- Creative Commons Search: A repository of various types of media, including images, music, and videos
- Vimeo: Videos with a CC license can be found through Advanced Search options
- Flickr: Creative Commons: Flickr is an “online photo management and sharing application” and many photos are available under CC licenses; Flickr allows searching by type of license.
Supplemental, or ancillary, OER materials can include lecture notes, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, assignments, and activities.
- PhET: Interactive math and science simulations with lesson plans and activities
- OER Commons: A large collection of a variety of types of OER, including textbooks, courses, and ancillary materials
Other OER lists
Many universities have research guides related to finding OER and that provide lists of various repositories and resources, so be sure to check your home institution.
- Simon Fraser University guide called “Finding and evaluating OER: Open Educational Resources”
- University of British Columbia research guide to open education
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University research guide to open educational resources
- British Columbia Institute of Technology guide to open education
- University of Victoria open educational resources site
- University of Northern British Columbia guide to open access in scholarly communication