Open Educational Resources

Creating an OER

The amount of free, high-quality online educational material is growing each day.

Currently, there are no tools for searching across OER web sites. However, the following is a list of some excellent resources.

This document is a code of best practices designed to help those preparing OpenCourseWare (OCW) to interpret and apply fair use under United States copyright law.

This is a scholarly community and web space, provided for CUNY faculty and graduate students, where you can develop open source projects such as an OER, and your learning object can be shared and archived. You can create a course website, or “syllabook,” using the WordPress content management system. 

Futures Initiative is dedicated to creating and inspiring new methods in interdisciplinary and collaborative learning and pedagogy.  The Futures Initiative encourages peer-to-peer pedagogies that support open and connected forms of learning, experimentation, and multimedia publication.  Information about the course and open materials are available here.

The CUNY Graduate Center is home to Journal of Interactive Teaching and Pedagogy.  JiTP's mission is to promote open scholarly discourse around critical and creative uses of digital technology in teaching, learning, and research. 

This is a digital content hub that allows you to both create and discover OER content. They also provide training services, curate custom tools, and offer professional development.

This is an asynchronous online course that you can take, at your own pace, which will show you how to create an open education resource, and it will familiarize you with the latest version of Blackboard.

SUNY instructors lead this course, part of the OpenSUNY initiative, and badges can be earned that demonstrate completion of the course and understanding of copyright and creative commons, locating and evaluating OERs, creating open content, and open access publishing.

This OER content repository allows you to create and publish, by creating and/or editing modules, as well as by curating collections made up of the modules on the site. Authors learn to work with XML language to create prose, mathematical expressions, bibliographies, and interactive questions. Resources are given for creating EPUB files, so that content is viewable on electronic readers.

MERLOT Content Builder is a webpage and website creation tool.  In the webinar, participants are shown a variety of types of websites that can be created using Content Builder.  Then participants see how to use Content Builder to create a webpage, web collection and web site.  Participants are also shown how to make the pages public and how to catalog the created resource in the MERLOT collection.

Pachyderm is an easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool.  Designed for people who have little or no multimedia authoring experience, Pachyderm is accessed through a web browser and is as easy to use as filling out a web form.  Sample Pachyderm presentations.

Finding OER Content

Developed by 29 non- and for-profit organizations, and this site provides access to OER content available on the web, training for instructors on using OER, and peer review for open textbooks. COT is a project of the Open Doors Group, which has recently gotten involved in and produced two Massive Online Open Courses.

Founded by Rice University, this is an open space where community members can share and adapt educational resources. Materials are presented as stand-alone modules and as collections. All content is free and reusable.

This site contains digital learning resources created by the federal government, as well as public and private organizations, and users can browse by subject or by educational standard. It is maintained by the Office of Communications and Outreach and the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Initially started by California State University, this resource is now supported by 23 institutions of higher education. Materials are peer reviewed, and support is provided for faculty to facilitate use of the learning objects, which include courses, articles, textbooks, tutorials, portfolios, drills, assignments, animations, and much more.

This resource offers OER content, tools, training, and support. Materials are searchable by subject, grade level, and materials type (for example: lab, video lecture, textbook, full course, or game).

This library is a tool to help instructors find affordable, quality textbook solutions. All textbooks in this library are complete and openly licensed. This site is a collaboration of the University of Minnesota, Purdue University, California State Polytechnic University, Oregon State University and British Columbia campus initiative. 

Produced by Rice University, this resource provides free professional grade, peer reviewed textbooks that meet the scope and sequence of most courses.  Online versions are free, and print versions only cost the price of production.

This resource offers free, self-paced, online courses created from OER materials which have been vetted by credentialed educators.  Coursework meets the needs of most college majors, and professional development is provided.

Evaluating Open Educational Resources

Evaluating OER can be done the same way you evaluate traditional textbooks.  Since the textbook is already published, it might be more appropriate to call this process peer validation -- where knowledge experts "review" the material post-publication.  Many OER resources include reviews by other faculty.