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Open Educational Resources: An Opportunity to Enhance Student Success: OER Resources

Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute: The Four Pillars toward course completion, improved grades, increased credit load, and overall student success. How the library can assist faculty in achieving these goals effectively and efficiently.

OER Resources

Lumen Learning

Course Materials Designed for Learning

Lumen OER course materials replace expensive textbooks and provide:

  • Engaging, interactive content (text, video, simulations, practice questions, etc.)
  • Continuous improvements to support increased learning
  • Accessible and mobile-friendly
  • Available for 50+ high-enrollment subjects
  • Low cost AND highly effective

Visit Lumen Course Catalog

Community-focused Professional Development

Lumen Circles connect faculty members through virtual peer communities focused on strengthening effective teaching practices and supporting student success.

  • Virtual training combined with applied teaching experiences
  • Build on the strengths of your own teaching practice
  • Reflect, learn, and share with a virtual peer community
  • Skilled facilitation, mentoring, and support

OpenStax College      

OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course. OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. Adopt a book today for a turnkey classroom solution or modify it to suit your teaching approach. Free online and low-cost in print, OpenStax College books are built for today’s student budgets. 


Open Textbook Library

These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network.


College Open Textbooks     

The College Open Textbooks Collaborative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.

The focus of these efforts could save students millions of dollars by increasing the number of open high-quality textbooks available online as alternatives to expensive printed textbooks sold by publishers.

College Open Textbooks has peer-reviewed more than 100 open textbooks for use in community college courses and identified more than 550: College Open Textbooks has already peer-reviewed several new open textbooks for use in community college courses and identified more than 250 others for consideration. 


Global Text Project (Univesity of Georgia) 

We publish open content electronic textbooks that are freely available from this website.  The goal is to make textbooks available to the many who cannot afford them.


Saylor Academy Open Textbook        

Each of the 100+ books listed below is freely available for download, online reading, and sharing, under one of various open licenses. Check each book for specific terms. Saylor Academy maintains dozens of open online courses? We encourage educators to mine our courses and put them to work in their own classrooms. Find out more at our Open Course Resource Center.


OER Commons 

Search through collections curated by our digital librarians. Common Core resources organized for your needs. Groups provide a flexible environment to organize, create, share, and discuss resources with others in your network. Collaborate with group members, tag and add resources to shared folders, create your own collections, all within a public or private group.

Use Open Author to easily create openly licensed educational resources. Combine text, images, sound, videos, or supplemental materials into resources you can share and remix with your colleagues and educators around the world. This robust tool will let you export your resources, or resources created and shared by others, into your own learning management system.


Washington State Open Course Library    

The Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of our materials (also called open educational resources, or OER) are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less). Many of the courses can be taught at no cost to students. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license.OCL courses and materials have undergone testing for accessibility and have been designed using the industry-standard Quality Matters (QM) rubric for assessing the quality of online courses.

Our goals:  1.Lower textbook costs for students  2.Provide high quality, open resources for faculty

Washington community and technical colleges’ Open Course Library simply offers collections of course materials that cost $30 or less for our 81 highest enrolled courses. OCL leverages open educational resources (OER) that can be used, adapted and shared for free as well as low-cost publisher materials.

Faculty members do not need to use entire OCL courses — or even to use the materials as developed for the courses. Faculty might choose the same open or low-cost textbook that the OCL faculty chose, they might use OCL videos that are freely available on YouTube, they might take a course module or document, revise it, and put it in their own online course, or they might suggest that students use an app built with OCL content. They might build a course around current library or web resources.

These course materials were created through an optional Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) grant, and the SBCTC Open Licensing Policy requires that all materials created through optional grants carry an open license. Unless otherwise noted, the Open Course Library materials are owned by SBCTC and are freely shared to the world with a Creative Commons Attribution-only license (CC-BY)



Browse or search the table located in OpenOregon to find out what  Oregon community college instructors are using to reduce textbook costs in their courses. If you see a name and email address, feel free to contact that person about their class.




Openly sourced learning materials are part of a systematic rethinking in the way educational institutions produce and share the knowledge of a discipline. They dramatically lower costs and increase flexibility, but institutions require tools and services in order to work with them. panOpen provides the tools and services that schools need to adopt OER effectively, allowing open source content to realize its promise as a truly disruptive force in the market for educational content. While dramatically reducing the cost of educational materials to students, at panOpen we focus on solving three critical challenges to the adoption of OER:

Curation: School-specific libraries of OER titles for each institution with materials approved collaboratively through peer review. This helps ensure that only high quality content becomes part of the institutional libraries.

Learning Tools: Capability to remix, edit, and customize content so instructors can adapt materials to their curriculum and learning objectives, while delivering cutting-edge learning tools for OER to enhance the experience of faculty and students.

Sustainability: Establishing a revenue sharing model that ensures that all relevant stakeholders (copyright holders, authors, faculty, and institutions) are financially compensated for the time and effort spent creating, curating, adopting, and customizing OER content.

$25 per student. Ten community colleges piloting project spring 2016: Tidewater, Kirkland, Salt Lake, Lone Star, Case College



Flat World Knowledge

Psychology Textbook Example                         Faculty: Review, Adopt, modify                   Student Formats:

Digital All Access Pass $49: Access to online, offline, and eBook formats: online book with Study Pass, chapter PDFs, and eBook files for tablets, e-readers, and smartphones.

Study Pass $24: Access to the online book only with study tools like note-taking and highlighting; study aids like flashcards; and study view, which collapses each chapter into key terms and key takeaways.

Black & White Print Textbook $89: Bonus access to online and eBooks.

Color Print Textbook $139: Bonus access to online book.

Psychology Textbook Course Content Example:

Chapter 1: Introducing Psychology    Chapter 2: Psychological Science

Chapter 3: Brains, Bodies, and Behavior       Chapter 4: Sensing and Perceiving

Chapter 5: States of Consciousness    Chapter 6: Growing and Developing

Chapter 7: Learning    Chapter 8: Remembering and Judging

Chapter 9: Intelligence and Language            Chapter 10: Emotions and Motivations

Chapter 11: Psychology in Our Social Lives              Chapter 12: Personality

Chapter 13: Defining Psychological Disorders     Chapter 14: Treating Psychological Disorders


Gutenberg Project     

The World Public Library Association is the world’s largest aggregator of eBooks. Our mission is to serve and aid the public, students, and educators, by providing the world's most complete collection of electronic books, documents, and articles online, as well as offer a variety of services and resources that support and strengthen the instructional programs of education, elementary through post-baccalaureate studies.

Access to the complete holdings of the World Public Library is open to the general public for personal use. Upon payment of an annual dues of $8.95 for membership (substantially less for large groups), Patrons will receive an eLibrary Card allowing them unlimited access to our complete holdings.  There are no other costs or fees to individuals for unlimited access. The payment of nominal dues is needed to defray operating expense, in strict compliance with US IRC Rev. Rule 67-109, 1967-1 C.B.136.

eLibrary Card: As a member of the World Public Library, you will be able to access all +3,000,000 digital eBooks to read online or download and save for later. All of the eBooks are portable PDF file formatted, and all Audio eBooks are portable MP3 file formatted. These formats have been specially designed to be cross platform compatible with all PCs, Laptops, PDAs, Kindle DX, Kindle 3 iPad/iPods, eReaders, or Smartphones.

* Individual Membership Subscriptions                    * Institutional Membership Subscriptions



Free as in freedom:  The textbooks on this site are all released under a free content license. No one can stop you from using these materials, modifying them or distributing them. Also, the license guarantees that any works that are derived from these materials will be similarly free to modify and distribute, forever. Anyone can access the Wikibooks textbooks at no cost.

Academia meets the real world: Our textbooks are started by people who are familiar with the subject. Content is continually augmented by Wikibookians. This is no lone professor seeking additional income, it is a community of people who are there to learn the material in the least painful way to get the grade and be prepared for the next step. That means textbooks that make sense.

Up-to-the-minute changes: You will never have to wait months or years for another edition to come out that incorporates the latest changes in the field. The very minute a discovery or advancement is made the text can be updated to reflect that change.

Built-in feedback: Every textbook page has its own associated talk page where students can ask each other questions and help each other with the material. Each page can also receive reader feedback through an interface at the bottom of the page.

Control: If you want to retain control of your work evolution, distribution and use, do not contribute. Wikibooks is about collaboration, not ownership.



MyOpenMath is designed for mathematics, providing delivery of homework, quizzes, and tests with rich mathematical content. Students can receive immediate feedback on algorithmically generated questions with numerical or algebraic expression answers. And it can do so much more, providing a full course management system, including file posting, discussion forums, and a full gradebook, all designed with mathematics in mind.

MyOpenMath can be used to web-enhance an on-campus course, as part of hybrid course, or to run a fully online course. To get some idea how the system can be used by instructors, watch this quick three minute video[+]

MyOpenMath provides pre-built courses based on popular open textbooks. Some of these course only include online homework, while others include videos, handouts, and instructor resources. The books for these courses can be read online, or printed copies can be ordered through our partner site,

We currently have pre-built courses aligned with:

  • Arithmetic for College Students, David Lippman's remix of the MITE/NROC textbook
  • Prealgebra, by College of the Redwoods
  • Beginning and Intermediate Algebra, by Tyler Wallace
  • Beginning and Intermediate Algebra, a CK12 flexbook remixed by James Sousa
  • Math in Society, by David Lippman (A quantitative reasoning / math for liberal arts course)
  • Precalculus: an Investigation of Functions, by David Lippman and Melonie Rasmussen
    (covers College Algebra and Trig) video tour [+]
  • College Algebra, by Carl Stitz and Jeff Zeager
  • Business Calculus, by Shana Calaway, Dale Hoffman, and David Lippman
  • Contemporary Calculus (single variable), by Dale Hoffman



MERLOT is a community of staff, volunteers, and members who work together in various ways to provide users of OER (Open Educational Resource) teaching and learning materials with a wealth of services and functions that can enhance their instructional experience.

The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder web pages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. All of these items have been contributed by the MERLOT member community, who have either authored the materials themselves, or who have discovered the materials, found them useful, and wished to share their enthusiasm for the materials with others in the teaching and learning community. 

 All the materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability for retention in the collection.  Many undergo the more extensive "peer review" for which MERLOT is famous. MERLOT presents annual awards for various categories of materials added to or used in the collection. As described in Material Link Checking and Removal, all material URL's in the collection are reviewed frequently for sustainability.


Open access journals - Elsevier: Peer-reviewed journals covering agriculture, the sciences, business and more.


Encyclopedia Britannica    

Use of Content:  If you are a teacher, scholar, or student, you may copy reasonable portions of the content for lesson plans, interactive whiteboards, reports, dissertations, presentations, school newspapers and for similar nonprofit educational purposes to the extent permitted by applicable law. In each case, however, you may not remove or alter any copyright, trademark, service mark or other proprietary notices or legends. You may not publish, distribute, retransmit, sell or provide access to the content on the Services, except as permitted under applicable law or as described in these Terms of Use. Britannica works to ensure that all the content on its Services is in compliance with applicable U.S. copyright laws.


YouTube and Copyright         

Q: Can I add or embed videos from video sharing websites like YouTube in my course shell?

A: This practice is called “inline linking” which involves placing a line of HTML on your site that displays content directly from another site. We now commonly refer to this practice as embedding. Inline linking a YouTube video is generally acceptable regardless of its license condition (Standard YouTube license or Creative Commons license)

A recent case from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that inline linking does not directly infringe copyright because no copy is made on the site providing the link; the link is just HTML code pointing to the image or other material. See Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 508 F.3d 1146 (2007). Other courts may or may not follow this reasoning. However, the Ninth Circuit’s decision is consistent with the majority of copyright linking cases which have found that linking, whether simple, deep, or inline, does not give rise to liability for copyright infringement.

In addition, merely using an inline link should not create trademark liability; unless you do something affirmative to create the impression that, you are somehow affiliated with or endorsed by the site to which you are linking. Thus, embedding media in your online work should not expose you to legal liability.

The above content is directly excerpted from these pages:  Linking to Copyrighted Materials, Digital Media Law project, CC BY NC SA

Open Licensing & Copyright FAQ      

Compiled, some of the most frequently received inquiries during the past 2 years of Washington State's State Board of Community and Technical College's, How to Use OER trainings.