Open Educational Resources

OER Resources

OER are basically anything you can utilize in a course that are open to use - from full courses to textbooks, from individual modules to media components. Unfortunately, there isn't a single tool that harvests everything for us, so below are some general resources that you can use to help identify OER materials.

OpenStax Merlot Cool 4 Ed
Merlot OEConsortium Wikimedia Commons
California Open Education Resources Council Showcase Academic Senate for CCC CreativeCommons
CollegeOpenTextbooks SkillsCommon OpenClipArt
University of MN Open Textbooks EdX DigCCMixter
Open SUNY MIT OCW Wiley Journals
BC Campus Lumen Learning Springer Open Journals
Directory of Open Access Books OER Commons TEDTalks
Saylor Academy Saylor Course Resource Guides Crash Course
Noba Project Serendipity Pixaby

What makes a "good" OER?

When considering an OER for a course, there a few things to consider. Just like selecting a textbook, you should evaluate the OER to make sure it is meeting the needs of the course, yourself, your students, and our institution. Achieve, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization, has established rubrics for evaluating OER, and these rubrics are used in the OER Commons website to evaluate OER. They have identified eight areas to consider: Degree of Alignment to Standards, Quality of Explanation of the Subject Matter, Utility of Materials Designed to Support Teaching, Quality of Assessment, Quality of Technological Interactivity, Quality of Instructional and Practice Exercises, Opportunities for Deeper Learning, Assurance of Accessibility

Rubrics for Evaluating Sources

Below are links to rubrics aligned to and adapted from the Achieve rubrics that you can use that will help you evaluate OER. 

Integrating OER Materials

One of the big components of utilizing OER is attribution.  Attribution is very much like citing references -- it is providing credit to the creator of the OER that you are using.  In order to provide correct attribution, you may have to list Creative Commons information, as well as the creator's information.  Throughout this LibGuide, you can find many examples of attribution.


Attribution Tool : Just like a citation generator, this tool from Open Washington helps you format attributions for any OER you utilize (Open Attribution Builder is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Managed by WA SBCTC) . 

Creative Commons: On this page, you will find out how to provide correct attributions when utilizing resources licensed through Creative Commons.

Adopting OER Materials

Some departments have selected the books faculty should use in certain courses. Check the course outline to see what books are required or recommended. Except when there is a department-approved text, instructors are free to decide on the textbooks they wish to use. However, keep in mind that students may need to purchase very expensive textbooks for several classes, so consider the cost when selecting materials

Creative Commons Overview

Creative Commons provides creators with a way to manage the copyright permissions of their works, usually with the specific purpose of allowing the reuse and sharing of their material.  Having a Creative Commons license attached to a work signals to others that specific permissions are granted. CC licenses may be applied to any type of work, including educational resources, music, photographs, databases, government and public sector information, and many other types of material.

For information about licensing a work using Creative Commons,  check out this page:

For details about Creative Commons and OER: 

Finding Creative Commons licensed works

Finding Creative Commons licensed works There are plenty of tools online to help you find Creative Commons resources.

Creative Commons offers a "CC Search" tool to assist you with identifying resources that have a Creative Commons license.

Google and Bing both hav

e filters when searching for images in their advanced search options that let you limit results to Creative Commons resources.

YouTube also has a filter for Creative Commons videos.



    This video from Research Shorts is licensed under CC


    This video from SRJC Distance Education is licensed under Standard YouTube License

OER by Discipline (Courtesy of LAVC)

Accounting Computer Science History
Administrative Justice Continuing Education Math
Anthropology Counseling Media Arts
Art Earth Science Oceanography
Astronomy Economics Philosophy
Biology English Physics
Business & Marketing Engineering Political Science
Chemistry ESL Psychology
Child Development Geography Reading
Communication Studies Geology Sociology
Computer & Information Technology Health Science & Nursing  
  • OER by Discipline