There are tens of thousands of freely available open education resources (OER) and open textbooks, and a wide variety of tools to help you discover them. It can be overwhelming to make sense of all the options and successfully find open content appropriate for your course needs.

Below are four popular tools to locate, create, and store open textbooks and resources. Faculty needing assistance with discovering and implementing open content are invited to contact eLearning librarians at learnlib@umn.edu. We can help!

Open Textbook Library

http://open.umn.edu/

  • Helps instructors find affordable, quality textbook solutions. All textbooks in this library are complete and openly licensed.
  • Includes ~170 high quality open textbooks in a wide variety of subject areas.
  • Many textbooks are reviewed by subject experts using a robust evaluation rubric
  • All textbooks are free to use, adapt, and distribute. Open textbooks can be downloaded for no cost, or printed inexpensively.
  • Textbooks can usually be downloaded in PDF format, as well as EPUB and HTML.

OER Commons

http://oercommons.org

  • Provides tens of thousands of open educational resources (OER) for free to educators around the world.
  • Create, share, and discover OER in a wide variety of subjects.
  • OER is evaluated using the Common Core State Standards rubric (CCSS) – www.corestandards.org
  • Resources can be uploaded to OER Commons or created using their web based "Open Author" tool.
  • Minnesota OER Commons is a designated “hub” set up for the U of M, MnSCU, and state high schools to share, create, and store OER resources.

Open Stax Connexions

http://cnx.org

  • Designed to encourage the sharing and reuse of open educational content.
  • Includes tens of thousands of learning objects called "pages" or modules
  • "Pages" can be organized and remixed into "books" or collections
  • Authors can create pages/modules and books/collections, share their work, and adapt other people’s work
  • Users can also discover appropriate OER and save favorite modules in "Lenses"
  • Open Stax CNX is also home to 9 high-quality open textbooks including Physics, Biology, and Economics with more on the way.

Merlot

http://merlot.org

  • MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development resources and services contributed and used by an international education community.
  • Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
  • Resources are evaluated on three criteria: Content quality, effectiveness, and ease of use
  • Offers a very powerful search tool for discovering appropriate resources
  • Includes a wide variety of resource types including web sources, PDF, video, images, and much more

More Information

For more information about open textbooks and OER please visit the University of Oklahoma Libraries' Open Educational Resources guide, or North Carolina State University Libraries' Faculty Guide to OERs.

Questions?

For any questions or comments about the Partnership for Affordable Content please contact Kristi Jensen and Shane Nackerud at learnlib@umn.edu.