Open Educational Resources (OER) are no cost materials that support teaching, learning, and research. These include textbooks, interactive learning materials, quizzes, images, media, software, lab manuals, games, online lectures, and more.
But OER is not just free stuff. The OER gold standard is material that’s free and openly licensed allowing users the freedom to do the "5 R’s" of Open: Retain, Reuse, Redistribute, Revise, and Remix. Items licensed to allow all of the 5 R’s allow maximum educational flexibility.
See the Open Education Group publications page for research and writings on OER effectiveness and related issues.
One search options search multiple sites with both wholly open content that can be edited, shared, etc., as well as collections with free materials that cannot be adapted, but can be uses as is. Though these may be just what you need, these options have significant content and search limitations, including fewer deep filtering options found on other sites. Not successful here? Peruse the options listed in the column to the right.
In addition to the major open educational resource collections highlighted in the middle column, locate OER's by using a search engine like Google or Bing. Just note that pinpointing vetted resources is more random in this method.
Locating OER on the Web:
open textbooks | education resources | simulation | open resources | lessons or lesson plans | courseware | introduction[topic word] | creative commons | games
Example: engineering open textbooks
Limit the Rights to "free to use, share, or modify, even commercially"
Large OER collections which contain or point to learning materials can be a great place to start your OER discovery. The first four below are the largest. The OER by Disciplines guide may reveal unique options.
A major OER concern is the frequent lack of such supplementary materials as assessments, or support tools that assist with activities like grading. Options to address these concerns include:
Free add-ons. Many of the OER repositories listed on this page will note if supplementary support materials have been added, and may also include the option to create and add your own for use by all.
Stand-alone ancillaries may also match textbook content or achieve learning goals.
Fee-based add-ons. Some OER suppliers, such as OpenStax, have partnerships, prominently offered, with companies and publishers that supply support tools and resources at reasonable costs.
What's the difference between Open Access (OA) and Open Educational Resources?
Wait. Sounds like there's cross-over in the two definitions.
Below are some large OA repositories for journals and discipline-specific materials.
An Open Access overview: