Finding OER Textbooks

Open Educational Resources (OER) are being created at many of the nation’s colleges, and around the world. They’re free, openly-licensed educational materials that you can either use for your own learning purposes, or integrate into a course site for a class.
But – where do we find them?
One place to start looking is an OER repository. This is a site intended to gather materials so educators can more easily access them.

OpenStax Textbook Network – Available from Rice University, the site offers peer-reviewed, quality OER textbooks by subject (Math, Physics, and more).
College Open Textbooks – They link to open textbooks from across the web, listed by subject/discipline.

Other sites are the OER Commons, and Open Textbook Library from University of Minnesota.
How do I evaluate if this is a good resource?
Great question! You’ll evaluate it in the same way you might for other materials.
As you’re reading, consider whether the material is relevant to you or your course. Does it have advantages/disadvantages over the current text? Does the reading level seem like a good fit? If you like, you can even test how “readable” the text is with an online tool.
But OER can be more than just textbooks, right?
Absolutely! OER can refer to any material – a syllabus, lesson plan, video, text – that is made available for others to share and use, through an open license. We’ll explore the complexities of using Creative Commons Licenses in another post. For now, feel free to check out their website, or be in touch with Prof. Cailean Cooney (OER Librarian) with any additional questions! (
And if you feel ready to jump into OER – check out the Summer 2018 Faculty Fellows Program. Applications are due today, Tuesday April 10th! 

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