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Open Educational Resource (OER) Guide


Open Educational Resources (OER) are resources shared among educators with open use licenses.  OER can be whole courses, textbooks or just parts that can be used in your own courses or as alternatives to publisher content.

Licenses can vary from, nonprofit, educational use with attribution and no changes allowed, to freely use and alter as long as you give credit to the original author.

Most use one of the Creative Commons licenses.  Read and follow the license or permissions provided by the author(s) when using their content.

The MVCC librarians can help you understand licensing and how you can incorporate OER into your classes or create your own OER. Contact:

Lee Semmerling, semmerling@morainevalley.edu 
Tish Hayes, hayesl45@morainevalley.edu

OER Textbook Collections

OER textbook collections offer searchable websites for textbooks by subject.  Some will allow you to use portions and change the content to fit your needs.  Others will require use as is.

OER Network Libraries

OER networks libraries provide aggregations of many collections.

  • Open Textbook Library A library of textbooks with reviews and links out out to the books
  • Mason OER Metafinder George Mason University Metafinder searches multiple OER repositories
  • The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

OER Learning Objects

OER learning objects are smaller resources, like PowerPoint, videos and exercise handouts.  Some older collections like MERLOT that have been around for decades may be harder to navigate to the newer content.  Most content have licenses that allow taking the parts you like and make changes to fit your need.

  • MERLOT II Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching is an index of resources that links out to the original sources.  Some sources can be quite old and links may be broken.  Use the information about the sources to do searches on the web when links are broken.
  • OER Commons from ISKME (Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education is an index of resources that links out to the original sources.
  • Open Michigan from University of Michigan,  lectures, student work and more. Nearly all of the content here is openly licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.

OER Authors Tips

Create your own textbooks, course content or learning objects and share with the education community.  Below are a few of the many helpful sources for authors of OER.

MOOC and Open Courseware with Content that can be Adapted

Many MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) allow you to barrow modules or course content to use in your own courses.  Read the license pages of open courses for how you may use the content.

  • MIT OPENCOURSEWARE - find courses in MIT open course ware and adapt portions into your own course. From their Get Started page:
    "Access a range of course materials, videos,OCW is made for sharing. Download and save files and complete courses for later. Send them to friends and colleagues. Modify or remix OCW content for any non-commercial use (just remember to credit OCW as the source). It's all good, per the terms of our Creative Commons license."
  • JHSPH Open Courseware -  find health related courseware at Johns Hopkins OCW and adapt portions into your own course

For more help Ask A Librarian

Summer 2017 LMS