The Library at St. Cloud State University

Open Educational Resources

Why Open Education Matters


This video, produced by the South African creative agency Blinktower, won first prize in the "Why Open Education Matters" video contest. To watch all of the videos about open education submitted for this contest, click here.
Open Educational Resources--Definition
"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or that can be used under an intellectual property license that allows re-use or adaptation (e.g Creative Commons). The potential of opening up educational resources for use and adaptation by everyone, especially those in resource-poor environments, is a great opportunity to achieve quality education for all."
UNESCO, ICT in Education

"Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Open Textbooks
College Open Textbooks Unrestricted Resource ebook
"College Open Textbooks (COT) is a project of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Open Doors Group. The COT Collaborative is collection of colleges, governmental agencies, education non-profits, and other education-related organizations that are focused on the mission of driving awareness, adoptions**, and affordability of open textbooks. Our focus is on community colleges and other 2-year institutions of higher education and the first two years (lower division) of 4-year institutions" (from home page). COT publishes peer reviewed open textbooks used around the country. It also provides links to open textbooks from multiple repositories and content creators' websites.

Flatworld Knowledge Unrestricted Resource ebook
"The #1 Publisher of Open College Textbooks" (from home page). Visit their catalog. All open textbooks are written by experts in the field, peer reviewed, and are professionally edited and developed. Students have the option of transforming these open textbooks into audio files, flash cards, and more.

OpenStax College Unrestricted Resource ebook
An initiative of Rice University, OpenStax College is a non-profit organization committed to improving access to higher education by providing access to free, quality open textbooks. OpenStax open textbooks are developed and peer reviewed by educators to ensure readability, accuracy, and fit with your course.

Open SUNY Textbooks Unrestricted Resource Some full text availableebook
"The mission of Open SUNY Textbooks is to provide an academic-friendly publishing model and infrastructure which supports faculty adoption, remixing, and creation of open educational resources (OER) and courses" (from website). Provides a catalog of current and upcoming open textbooks published by the State University of New York (SUNY) OER Services.

Open Textbook Library (University of Minnesota Unrestricted Resource

"In an effort to reduce costs for students, the College of Education and Human Development has created this catalog of open textbooks to be reviewed by faculty members. Read full press release

"Open textbooks are complete textbooks released under a Creative Commons, or similar, license.

"Instructors can customize open textbooks to fit their course needs by remixing, editing, and adding their own content. Students can access free digital versions or purchase low-cost print copies of open textbooks" (from home page).


Open Textbooks (Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources) Unrestricted Resource Some full text availableebook
Links to open textbooks in a variety of disciplines. Appropriate for four year or two year institutions
Open Textbook Tools
Open Education Database Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
A list of 80 OER tools for open textbook publishing and collaborative online course development initiatives. "Includes 80 online resources that you can use to learn how to build or participate in a collaborative educational effort that focuses on publication and development of those materials" (from website).
Open Educational Resources--General
Connexions Unrestricted Resource
"A place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc." (from home page). Create a free account and select from open instructional materials in the Connexions collection (or contribute your own) to develop online course modules. Includes open textbooks in most subjects.

MERLOT (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
MERLOT is an open educational resource repository and international consortium of higher education institutions, industry partners, and professional organizations. MERLOT identifies, peer reviews, organizes, and promotes existing open educational resources in all academic disciplines for faculty and students.

OER Commons Unrestricted Resource
"Curating best in class learning materials from around the world since 2007" (from home page). Search for a wide variety of instructional materials, from open textbooks to lectures to instructional videos and homework assignments.

Shmoop Unrestricted Resource Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
"An up-and-coming collection of freely shared, expert-written content (most Shmoop authors are Ph.D.s and high school or college-level educators) with the goal of inspiring students and providing tons of free resources to teachers that include writing guides, analyses, and discussions."
Open Courses
OER Tapestry Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
Take open courses or create your own by seamlessly integrating content with dozens of popular websites, apps, and social media services. Free registration.

Open Study Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
Make the world your study group! Take a course (or create a study group) for any subject, meet students from around the world, and earn credentials.

P2PU (Peer to Peer University) Unrestricted Resource Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
"Learn anything with your peers. It's online and totally free. At P2PU, people work together to learn a particular topic by completing tasks, assessing individual and group work, and providing constructive feedback" (from home page). Find an open course that interests you, or learn how to create an open course.
Open Course Tools
OER Tapestry Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
Take open courses or create your own by seamlessly integrating content with dozens of popular websites, apps, and social media services. Free registration.

Open Education Database Unrestricted Resource Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
A list of 80 OER tools for open textbook publishing and collaborative online course development initiatives. "Includes 80 online resources that you can use to learn how to build or participate in a collaborative educational effort that focuses on publication and development of those materials" (from website).

P2PU (Peer to Peer University) Unrestricted Resource Resource contains video Resource contains audioebook
"Learn anything with your peers. It's online and totally free. At P2PU, people work together to learn a particular topic by completing tasks, assessing individual and group work, and providing constructive feedback" (from home page). Find an open course that interests you, or learn how to create an open course.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Rachel Wexelbaum

Rachel Wexelbaum
Associate Professor, Collection Management Librarian
MC 135D
(320) 308-4756
rswexelbaum@stcloudstate.edu


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