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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use. In addition to this guide, we recommend you also check out a related OER site, Textbook Affordability at UMD.

Finding and Creating OER

OER walk sign

CC licensed (BY) Flickr photo shared by David Amsler modified by Kelsey Corlett-Rivera

According to the recent Babson Survey, many faculty members mention difficulty in finding Open Educational Resources as an impediment to implementing them in their courses, along with the time required to do so. There are many different types of OER out there, from single images that are licensed for re-use to full courses with accompanying textbooks, multimedia, and assignments. Each involves a different level of commitment, from creating your own resource from scratch, to combining existing resources in a way that meets your needs, to simply adopting an open textbook as is. The resources on this page will help you find all types of OER.

The Open Professionals Education Network has an excellent guide to finding OER on their website.

Creating Your Own OER

The idea of combining many different types of freely available materials into a single course-specific "textbook" is rather daunting. These products and services facilitate that process to make it more manageable.

Multi-Disciplinary Collections of Open Educational Resources

These searchable collections allow educators to find a variety of materials in different disciplines. Most offer advanced searching options that allow you to narrow what can sometimes be an overwhelming number of results into a manageable list of quality resources. OER Commons and MERLOT are the largest repositories with broadest coverage; the others are more targeted.

Subject-Specific OER Collections

These collections are focused on one discipline, but still provide a wider variety of content than an open textbook on a single topic.

Open Textbooks: A Selection by Subject

Along with the full courses, videos, images, presentations, etc. you will come across hundreds of Open Access Textbooks in the above-listed repositories. It can be difficult to narrow in on a textbook that is appropriate for the course you are teaching next semester. Collections such as Open Stax College and the Open Textbook Library offer more concise lists, but other options certainly exist. What follows is a very limited selection of open textbooks in popular introductory topics from a variety of different sources and platforms.

Economics

Microeconomics: Theory Through Applications    Principles of Macroeconomics

Psychology

Introduction to Psychology: The Full Noba Collection    Principles of Social Psychology- 1st International Edition

Sociology

Introduction to Sociology    Principles of Sociological Inquiry

Communications

Wikibooks: Communication Theory  Wikibooks: Communication Theory

Chemistry

The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry    An Introduction to Organic Chemistry  An Introduction to Organic Chemistry    

Biology

Inside the Cell    Biology

Criminology/Criminal Justice

Introduction to Criminal Law

Health

Human Nutrition Flexbook  Human Nutrition Flexbook