Skip to main content

Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

This guide offers ideas and resources for faculty interested in locating, adapting, or creating open, freely accessible, and lower-cost textbooks and learning materials.

Want to chat about Open Educational Resources and other alternative learning material?

Auraria Library librarians can assist faculty interested in using Library resources, Open Educational Resources (OER’s), or other affordable options in place of textbooks or other learning materials.

Consultations are available to advise and support faculty who wish to learn more about identifying and embedding Library materials or OER’s into their online learning environments. We're also happy to consult on copyright issues associated with creating or adapting learning materials.     [Image: CC0]

Cheaper or Better Alternatives?

Sometimes a traditional textbook fits a class nicely. Sometimes not so much.

Students love avoiding sky-high textbook costs. They admire professors efforts to supply affordable materials well-matched to their learning. With openly adaptable materials, they may even have the opportunity to contribute or adapt content.

Faculty are interested in locating, adapting, or creating materials that more precisely enhance and support assignments, lectures, and class goals, and perhaps offer interactive or multimedia options to teach concepts effectively and spice up the learning experience.

This guide offers alternatives to textbooks and other educational materials that may offer flexibility, affordability, or both.

In this guide:

Image: Student by CollegeDegrees360 licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Linking to Library Materials

Integrate relevant writings, images, interactive learning materials, and media from the Auraria Library into your course by linking to them or embedding them in online learning environments, including Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, Library Reserves, or a Library Research guide created for your class.

Note that most Library-supplied materials have unique stable URL's or an embed code.

Would you like to integrate a search box on your online teaching environment leading to the Library's home page search box or a particular database?  Auraria Library librarians can help you do that.

Textbook Alternatives

Locate Open Educational Resources (OER). Learn of the substantial options for freely available, openly licensed educational materials. 

• Piece together a textbook through a variety of free elements. For example, consider materials from government, non-profit, and association web pages. Or perhaps an expert visiting class can replace a textbook chapter.

• Consider assigning older edition of textbooks. Or let students know if an older edition is ok. Caution: Make sure older editions include any required supplementary materials or online access associated with the new edition.

Create, adapt, or find textbooksSee sites that offer support in creating course materials to complement your teaching, or allow you to edit or adapt open learning materials created by others.

• Rent or Purchase: see the textbook cost comparison sites below.  They  frequently reveal competitively priced books and chapters for purchase and rental.

• Select a more general book as the "textbook." 

• Place the Library's or your own physical materials on Reserve:

Rent or Purchase: Textbook Cost Comparison Sites

Use the sites below to see pricing and availability of the latest and previous editions of textbooks in printed or digital editions. This can help inform textbook adoption decisions. Rental options, for both full books and chapters, are also shown. 

NOTE: Beware of buying older editions if access codes may be required that are tied to just one edition of the book. 

About OEP

What?  OEP?  That's Open Educational Practices.  OEP incorporates OER, and further values and expands on "open" possibilities to improve teaching and learning.  This brief article, "7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Practices" supplies more information.