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Transitioning to OER: Step One: Research

This guide is for professors interested in teaching their classes using OER, but who may be uncertain about how to go about it.

Before You Search

Use a rubric for determining whether an OER is right for your class.  You want to find materials that are knowledgeable, free of bias, well-edited, well-organized, and peer reviewed.  For other considerations, I recommend using one or more of the rubrics or checklists below:


books, reading glass, academic, book, education, leisure, library, nature, read, schoolThere are so many free resources for course content that it can be overwhelming. Start by thinking about your SLOs and look for the content that works best for your style of teaching. While some resources linked below are subject-specific, others are more general and will contain materials applicable to many disciplines.


Pro tip: When you find a useful resource be sure to bookmark it so you don't forget where you found it!

To recommend resources for inclusion in this list, email Todd Heldt.

To search some of the major repositories by subject, try these links:


But those are just a few of the available resources. There is a lot to take in, so pace yourself! Also, please be aware that some resources require you to set up a free login.

AMSER (the Applied Math and Science Education Repository) is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use. 

An approved list of open mathematical textbooks for traditional undergraduate college courses.

A collection of digital curriculum materials, support materials, and other digital resources accessible to all faculty 

A  joint effort by the OER Center for California, Foothill-De Anza Community College District, the League for Innovation in the Community College and many other community colleges and university partners to develop and use open educational resources (OER) and especially open textbooks in community college courses. 

Curriki makes world-class learning materials freely available to educators, students, and parents around the world. 

Provides easy access to the Digital Libraries funded by the SMETE program. 

Over 6,000 academic titles from 174 publishers. 

Encyclopedia is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal recording qualified entries of which contents should be reliable, objective and established knowledge, and it is published quarterly online by MDPI. Encyclopedia journal is affiliated to the Encyclopedia platform.

The Free Curricula Center (FCC) helps students worldwide reach their educational potential by producing and distributing university-level curricula that can be copied freely and modified cooperatively. Specifically, FCC serves as a focal point for the development and sharing of textbooks, instructor guides, and other educational materials.  

Federally supported teaching and learning resources are included from dozens of federal agencies. 

A  collection of over 35,000 open course materials. 

Over 8000 free books in the public domain.

Find textbooks, ancillary materials, and other learning resources from Affordable Learning Georgia, an initiative of the University System of Georgia 

A link to the publication “Open Educational Resources Overview” which includes lists of OpenCourseWare, Courses and Learning Objects, Open Collections, Repositories and Portals, Open Journals and Books, and Consortia and Virtual Communities.‚Äč 

Collection of general subject area multimedia videos, animations and simulations for middle school to college students. A project of NROC. 

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

A service and platform that formulates social learning by using visual and auditory content provided online by institutions such as universities and other organizations. 

Largest higher education OER repository in the UK. 

The ebooks, which reflect JSTOR’s high standards for quality content, are freely available for anyone in the world to use. Each ebook carries one of six Creative Commons licenses determined by the publisher. Users will not need to register or log in to JSTOR. 

This online resource offers open access to numerous instructional videos and practice exercises in many subject areas including: math, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, computer programming, economics, finance, history, art history, test prep and more. 

A collection of digital media related to the fields of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning that may be used for teaching, learning, and research by the KSA and the global community. 

The Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX) is an electronic warehouse of ideas, examples, and resources. 

The Math Forum is a leading center for mathematics and mathematics education on the Internet. 

Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) is a project of California State University and offers peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials.

MyOpenMath runs on the open source, IMathAS platform, providing free hosted use of this platform in support of free, open textbooks like the ones listed on The intent is to provide classroom use of the platform, without any required cost to students, for schools wanting a managed install of the IMathAS platform, and to provide students self-study opportunities. 

A short list of advanced placement, college preparatory, and foundational college-level courses in math, science, and American history and government.  NROC offers full courses, lessons, and learning objects developed by membership institutions that follow lengthy pedagogical guidelines, and who are then able to share courses, use others’, and integrate content into their own course management systems.

A collection of expertly developed educational materials – including textbooks, syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments.  

Provides a quality-assured listing of open access repositories around the world. 

A not-for-profit organization that provides leadership, networking and support for educators and educational institutions to achieve their objectives through Open Education. 

The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. 

Publishes educational information that is published as open content. 

The  only University in the United Kingdom dedicated to distance learning. 

University of Michigan open education resource portal. 

Working towards textbook cost reduction at Oregon's community colleges. 

Formerly Connexions. A repository for open educational materials for K-12, community colleges, and universities. Content is organized into pages (learning objects) and textbook-style books. Supported by Rice University. 

Florida's digital repository for instructional resources. 

Project Gutenberg houses over 60,000 free e-books.

Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis: The QUBES platform, a BioQUEST project, is a social cyberinfrastructure that provides an open and inclusive virtual space for sharing STEM classroom activities and resources, discussing teaching and the adaptation of educational materials to specific institutional contexts, and working together to develop new ideas and insights that contribute to STEM education reform.

A four-year U.S. Department of Education project to develop models for creating and sharing open and reusable digital collections to improve campus scholarship and K-12 education. 

Workforce development OER from the TAACCCT grant. Over 700 universities represented. 

Smarthistory’s free, award-winning digital content unlocks the expertise of hundreds of leading scholars, making the history of art accessible and engaging to more people, in more places, than any other publisher. We work hard to make our essays and videos engaging and accessible while retaining depth, nuance and analytic rigor.

Multilingual search portal which identifies peer-reviewed and rated resources. Emphasis on English and Spanish language resources. 

Open access textbooks, worksheets, exercises, visualizations, demonstrations, and experiments focusing on the STEM subject areas. A project founded and directed by UC Davis Professor Delmar Larsen. 

Repository of digital learning objects developed by faculty from the Wisconsin Technical College System. 

WikiEducator is developing free content for use in schools, polytechnics, universities, vocational education institutions and informal education settings. 

Wikiversity is a multidimensional social organization dedicated to learning, teaching, research and service. Available in Dutch, French, Spanish, and English. 

Makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. 

If this is all too much, and you are not sure where to start, reach out to your campus librarian for help!