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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.

Open Educational Resources are designed to break down the barriers to information access and to provide cost effective alternatives to textbooks and expensive journal subscriptions. 

The student OER course experience, compared to typical classes. Source: "Participant Experiences and Financial Impacts: Findings from Year 2 of Achieving the Dream's OER Degree Initiative."

Yes, YouTube is considered to be an open educational resource, like any other resource sharing sight. It can be a great resource to quickly find information that you missed or to provide insight into something the professor mentioned in class. There are variety of fields and levels of expertise to be found. Some professors from other colleges post videos, while whole channels are run by a group of educators. 

Below are listed several channels that provide excellent supplementary content. 

 Crash Course

"Tons of awesome courses in one awesome channel! Nicole Sweeney teaches you sociology, Carrie Anne Philbin teaches you computer science, Craig Benzine teaches film history, and Mike Rugnetta is teaching mythology! 

Check out the playlists for past courses in physics, philosophy, games, economics, U.S. government and politics, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, world history, biology, literature, ecology, chemistry, psychology, and U.S. history."

 Yale Courses

"Yale's philosophy of teaching and learning begins with the aim of training a broadly based, highly disciplined intellect without specifying in advance how that intellect will be used. The Yale Courses channel provides entry into the core of the University--its classrooms and academic programs--including complete sets of lectures from the Open Yale Courses initiative. Complementary syllabi, transcripts, and other resources may also be accessed from the Open Yale Courses website listed below."

 MIT OpenCourseware

"Whether you’re a student, a teacher, or simply a curious person that wants to learn, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) offers a wealth of insight and inspiration. There's videos, and a whole lot more!

OCW is a free and open online publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum, ranging from the introductory to the most advanced graduate courses. At the OCW website, you'll find that each course has a syllabus, instructional material like notes and reading lists, and learning activities like assignments and solutions. Some courses also have videos, online textbooks, or faculty insights on teaching."

 Lectures by Walter Lewin

"This channel contains the complete 8.01x (Physics I: Classical Mechanics), 8.02x (Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism) and 8.03 (Physics III: Vibrations and Waves) lectures as presented by Walter Lewin in the fall of 1999, spring of 2002 and fall of 2004."

 Khan Academy

"Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Our interactive practice problems, articles, and videos help students succeed in math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, finance, grammar, and many other topics."

 TED Talks

"TED Talks shares the best ideas from the TED Conference with the world, for free: trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses, all giving the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. We post a fresh TED Talk every weekday. TED Talks are licensed under Creative Commons, so you're welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with the people you know. "


Top 100 Textbooks on Campus

"The Libraries have purchased textbooks for the largest courses on campus! They are available at the McKeldin Library Services Desk, and you can borrow them for 4 hours at a time." This resources allows you to search for textbooks for the top 100 courses on University of Maryland campus. The library pays for these books in order to fulfill its duty to providing access to information for students in a way that is the most beneficial.

The University of Maryland's website on OER shows testimony of fellow students on how much they have paid for textbooks and the things that they could have used their money on other than textbooks. 



Theses sites can help fill gaps in your knowledge for other courses, or if you did not have the opportunity to take a course you wanted to, there may be a substitute among these sites.


Use these sites to search across multiple sites to find helpful coursework.

How to Get Involved

The following sites provide background information about Open Educational Resources (OER) for students and faculty wanting to become involved in the OER movement.