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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.

It can be overwhelming when doing research on open educational resources for faculty. The library is here to help any faculty interested in encouraging different ways of learning that challenge traditional pedagogical practices and any faculty who want to make learning more affordable for their students. Creating a syllabus based on open educational resources can be overwhelming and time consuming, but the flexibility it allows both faculty and students to have is invaluable. 

In this section of the guide, resources have been compiled to aid in creating your own OER, use materials already created through Canvas, or find subject specific tools for your course.

It is also encouraged to contact your subject librarian if you are interested in developing OER in your courses.

Below are some tools that are well-developed and searchable for content you can use in your course. Each site provides different levels of scholarly tools for your courses.


This video gives a quick tutorial on how to add a simple pdf textbook file to your course. This will allow students to access any online versions of textbooks you have provided.


The Rice University's OpenStax Open Educational Resource Institutional Partnership Program "designed to provide you with advice and guidance to greatly increase the use of OER on your campus and create a networking community for support and advice. This program is for institutions ready to make an impact on campus by dedicating the necessary time and resources in an effort to motivate faculty and effort to utilize OER to drive student success, retention, and completion. Each year, 10-12 institutions are selected for this program based on a competitive application process" (RU, 2018).

It has been proven that the most successful OER programs were created because of support from faculty and senior level administration. A community college in central Minnesota attributed five elements to the adoption of OER at their school: 1) "support from administration, 2) "academic technology supports", 3) "dedicated commitment of the campus librarian", 4) "willing partnership of the campus bookstore manager", and 5) "inspired faculty choosing to adopt OERs, redesign their courses around OERs, and even author OERs" (Johnson et al., 2018).