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OER: Open Educational Resources: Finding OER

Starting Points

The best places to search for open educational resources often depend on what kind of material you need. If you're looking for...

Textbooks

A variety of types of OER materials, including lesson plans, assignments, and activities

  • Explore the OER Commons, with filters by subject, grade level, and material type. 

Images and Videos 

In addition to these starting points, be sure to explore the additional repositories linked on this page!

Open Washington

Another useful place to find Open Educational Resources is the
OER Resource Repository
a search tool from Open Washington

Screenshot of Open Washington Repository, showing many links in columns

Open Textbooks

Hard copies of open textbooks can look much like traditional texts. The primary difference is that textbooks are also accessible online at no cost and the hardcopies are optional and affordable.

An open textbook is much more flexible than traditional texts.  You can create a custom version for your course by editing it yourself.

Open textbooks are available in both print & digital formats:

  • online, at no cost.
  • downloaded PDF at no cost.
  • print-on-demand, typically for $20 ‐ 40.

Many open textbooks contain  supplemental materials like test banks, quizzes, PPTs, etc.

Answers to some frequently asked  questions:

What makes a textbook open?

A textbook becomes "open" when its copyright-holder grants usage rights to the public through an "open license," which typically includes the right to access, reformat, and customize it at no additional cost.

How many open textbooks are there?

Thousands of open textbooks already exist and more are on the way.

Who pays open textbook authors?

Open publishing models are still evolving, so author payment varies. Some are paid royalties on print sales, some receive grant support, and other choose to write on their own time.

Are open textbooks high quality?

Many open textbooks are developed through traditional peer-review, others are vetted by experts. As with any textbook, you are the final judge of whether an open textbook meets the needs of your course.

OER Repositories

Here is a partial list of OER repositories.  Be sure to contact your library liaison to help you locate subject and course specific OERs.

For additional links to OER repositories, websites, and open courseware, visit the Spokane Community College guide and the Tacoma Community College guide

Video, audio and images