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Open Educational Resources (OER): Start Here

OER: Open Educational Resources are academic materials that everyone can use, adapt and share freely. This resource guide is meant to help faculty learn more about and use Open Educational Resources.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are academic materials that everyone can use, adapt and share freely.

OER, Open Educational Resources“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. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

Source: Open Educational Resources, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Related Library Guides

The 5 Rs of Openness, David Wiley

The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Openness:

  • 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 (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)  (David Wiley Blog)

OER Coalition and Partnership Resources

Explorex OER courses in high-enrollment subjects.

Scroll down the page to explore some of Lumen’s leading OER courses in high-enrollment subjects using Waymaker and OHM.

Open Textbook Collections

The Open Textbook movement focuses on the creation of books that are built specifically for use as free or low-cost options for education.  Some of the collections may have links to the same books, but each repository or referatory has a particular focus, and items you can't find in other collections.

  • Open Textbook Library (https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/) – OTN manages the Open Textbook Library--a premier and comprehensive catalog of open textbooks that contains over 350 open textbooks and over 700 faculty reviews of the books. OTL is a clearinghouse of links to books in various locations, including OpenStax, Saylor and others. Books in the OTL have been peer reviewed for quality, and the Open Textbook Library has multiple criteria for inclusion in the Library. MOBIUS is the newest member of the Open Text Network (OTN).
  • OpenStax (https://cnx.org/) – These books were developed following traditional textbook publishing methods, including peer review, editorial support, and creation of ancillary content. Books are available in multiple formats (PDF, print on demand, on the Web) and are licensed to be revised and remixed by faculty who want create a custom solution for a course. There are tens of thousands of learning objects, called pages, that are organized into thousands of textbook-style books in a host of disciplines, all easily accessible online and downloadable to almost any device, anywhere, anytime.
  • BC Campus OpenEd (open.bccampus.ca/find-open-textbooks) – This site includes texts written specifically for the BC OpenTextbook initiative, as well as books from other sources.
  • Lumen Learning (https://courses.lumenlearning.com/catalog/lumen) – Lumen provides open courses in a variety of high-demand subjects and disciplines. These courses are collections of high-quality OER, not necessarily as a traditional textbook.  You can use them as-is or modify them to fit your instructional style and students’ needs.
  • The College Open Textbooks Collaborative
  • HathiTrust (http://www.hathitrust.org) – HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
  • The Directory of OpenAccess Books (http://www.doabooks.org/doab) – This site is a clearinghouse of links to books hosted in various locations, and includes a large selection of international textbooks.
  • Saylor.org Bookshelf (http://www.saylor.org/books/) – This collection includes books written specifically for Saylor.org as well as the original editions of the FlatWorldKnowledge textbooks (subsequent editions are only offered for purchase). You can view all their resources by subject area in their library
  • Open Access Publishing in European Networks (http://www.oapen.org/home) – The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.  OAPEN has books in multiple languages and covering a large variety of topics. There is a range of licensing for the books, but each books is clearly marked with the license.
  • Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page) – A volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works. Most items in this collection are digitized works from the public domain, making it a rich source for those in the Humanities

Comments or Suggestions?

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions about this guide? Do  you know of a website or resource to add? Please contact:  Sharon Fox, Professor, Library Services @ sfox@stlcc.edu

OER Collections of Resources

  • MERLOT (merlot.org) is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community. MERLOT was opened in 1997 and is supported by the California State University System.  
    • MERLOT does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content.  The materials can be ranked and many are peer-reviewed.  There are discipline specific Communities that curate and review the content. 
    • You can create and share personal collections of content links.
    • Recommended for Business, Education, Music, Political Science and Sociology subject areas.  
       
  • OpenWashington - (http://www.openwa.org)  is a site designed to help you understand the OER movement and find OER.  They have links for finding textbooks, content, images and video, as well as stories from faculty who have adopted OER in their classrooms.  
     
  • Saylor.org is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Saylor Foundation, they are focused on bringing "freely available education to all."  Founded in 1999 by Michael Saylor, they have created online courses curated from open content found on the Web.  The courses are marketed toward students who just want to learn, and are working on some methods for offering credentials. Saylor is a great site to start your search for OER by subject.  
    • They also have a collection of open textbooks.
    • Recommended for Art History, Business, Engineering, History, Political Science and Psychology subject areas.  
  • Europeana – is a gateway to European cultural assets, through this one site you can search for artworks, cultural items, archival collections from participating institutions all around Europe.  This site is a gateway, and once you have selected the items you want you will be redirected to the website of the institution that owns the item, and often these sites will not have English translations.  To find an item with the Creative Commons licensing you prefer - 
  1. Once you type in your initial search on the main page, you will have a list of filters on the left hand side of the page
  2. Use the "Can I use it?" and "By Copyright" filters to narrow down your results.

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000