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Open Educational Resources: Home

an introductory guide for faculty and students exploring openly published course materials

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are specifically designed by their creator/s to be openly available, and are often licensed to be re-used, re-mixed, and re-distributed.  Open is not just about low cost (though that is an important benefit) but about the ability to take what others have created, customize it for your specific educational needs, and then share your creation with others.  

Open resources can come in a variety of forms:

  • Primary sources - Images, video, and sound recordings.  Some sources are in the public domain, while others have been licensed as open by their creators.   In addition, many texts that are in the public domain are available online/electronically.
  • Learning content - Created content that ranges from individual lectures, animations, and assessments to complete courses and textbooks.  

Textbook Alternatives

Need to find an alternative to your current textbook or other learning material? Open Educational Resources (OER) are accessible to all, free from limitations, and designed to improve teaching and learning.

This guide provides a starting point for any faculty looking for open alternatives to their traditional textbooks, whether out of necessity or in a deliberate effort to make course materials more affordable for students. Examples by subject and additional resources for finding open textbooks can be found on the Open Resources by Subject tab of this guide.

Thematic Reading book cover

To view a sample open textbook, click the image to the left. You may also view the interactive course content for this text by visiting the following link:

Need help?

There are many ways to connect with the library if you would like help researching open education resources and/or adjusting your course curriculum:

  • Reach out to the OER Committee for general information about OER:


  • Request library instruction:


  • Get assistance with your course curriculum - contact the Center for Educational Technology and Curricular Innovation (CETCI):

  • Get help with course reserves or inquire about library collections: