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Open Educational Resources (OER)

A faculty guide for adopting, finding, and creating OER for your courses.

Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Set aside time.
Searching for these materials takes time and persistence, just like research!

2. Take a look to see if someone else has created a similar, complete OER textbook or course.
See the "OER Collections" and "Open Courseware" sections in the "Find" tab.
Example: Go to the Open Textbook Library and browse their texts by subject.

3. Get cozy with your student learning outcomes.
Instead of focusing on the textbook that you would like to replace, focus on what you would like students to know or be able to do as specified by the course's student learning outcomes (SLOs). You will likely need to search for several materials to address different topics or components of your complete course.
Example: Instead of searching for “biology” materials, search for “cell structure” or “DNA” or “evolution” materials.

4. Use Google Advanced Search to search for OER.

Watch this one-minute video for tips.

5. Search for OER by subject or by type.
See the "Find" tab for a list.

6. Give credit through attribution.
Learn more about Creative Commons (CC) licenses and use this License Chooser to select the appropriate attribution for your OER.

7. Work with a faculty librarian to locate no-cost materials or to fill in gaps.

8. Consider creating and sharing your own OER.
See the "Create" tab.


This guide is adapted from the excellent resource at the University of Pittsburgh.