Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OERs)/Textbook resources

Melissa Gebbia discusses OERs

Introduction to Open Educational Resources

BC Campus Open Education Adoption Guide

Evaluating materials

Before you begin using OERs, you should evaluate the materials. Here are some things to consider:

  • Is it the appropriate level for your students?
  • Does it cover what you are looking to discuss? 
  • Does it have a creative commons license? What are the permissions granted to you? 
  • Has the work been peer reviewed? 
  • What is the reputation of the author? What is the reputation of the source? 
  • Are sources properly cited? 
  • Is it enhanced with pictures, graphics, or videos? 
  • Is it accessible to students with disabilities? 

U.S. Pirg Student Textbook Survey

Authoring Open Textbooks

Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know

What are OER?

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that provide users with (1) free and unfettered access and (2) 5R legal permissions to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them, that can be used to replace traditional expensive learning resources (such as textbooks). You can use these web sites to find freely accessible content on the web which grants some or all of the rights listed above.  See individual materials for specific permissions and rights.  These materials include course modules, videos, worksheets, powerpoint presentations, and even entire textbooks, which can be linked to or loaded on your course page in Canvas. 

The JET's OER coursemap suggests OERs and open textbooks that may work for specific classes. Scroll down to a course you are prepping for to see a few options you might want to consider. You can also contact a library liaison to help you gather other source material that may help you in creating course packs for your students. 

Canvas Commons


The Canvas Commons has over 100,000 items you can easily import directly into your course page, including modules, images, documents, quizzes, even complete courses. To search, you must log into your canvas account, then choose the Commons icon on the left: 


Institutional Collections

Openstax college logoDeveloped by Rice University, OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers. Adopt a book today for a turnkey classroom solution or modify it to suit your teaching approach. Free online and low-cost in print, OpenStax College books are built for today’s student budgets.

Developed by the State University of New York, Milne Open Textbooks began as the project Open SUNY Textbooks: an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. The name was altered to Milne Open Textbooks in 2020 when the Open SUNY initiative transitioned to SUNY Online.

MIT Open Courseware Developed by the MIT,

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. The collection has content from well over 2,000 courses in a wide variety of disciplines.  


From UC Davis, the LibreTexts mission is to unite students, faculty and scholars in a cooperative effort to develop an easy-to-use online platform for the construction, customization, and dissemination of open educational resources (OER) to reduce the burdens of unreasonable textbook costs to our students and society.


open textbook logo

The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.

OER Commons Open Educational Resources logo

Developed by the Institute for the study of knowledge management in education. Established in 2007, OER Commons is a comprehensive open learning network where educators from all levels - pre-K to Graduate School - can collaborate and/or share courses and other learning materials. Resources include nearly 600 freely accessible post secondary open text books.

doaj lgo

DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. DOAJ is independent. All funding is via donations, 22% of which comes from sponsors and 78% from members and publisher members. All DOAJ services are free of charge including being indexed in DOAJ. All data is freely available.

DOAJ operates an education and outreach program across the globe, focussing on improving the quality of applications submitted.


Developed by California State University, MERLOT is a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy.   MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, cataloged by registered members and a set of faculty development support services.

dc network logo

The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

national academies logo

The National Academies Press (NAP) publishes the reports of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The NAP publishes more than 200 books a year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, medicine, education, law and justice, social science, and computer science providing authoritative, independently-researched information on important matters in science and health policy.

Teaching Commons logo

Teaching Commons  brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more. The Teaching Commons collects OER from the Digital Commons of various institutions and is powered by Berkley Press.

Skills Commons Open for Learning

Skills Common is a free and open digital library of Workforce Training Materials; preparing the workforce for  21st century employment through TAACCCT. is designed and managed by the California State University and its MERLOT program for the Department of Labor’s TAACCCT program under a 4 year cooperative agreement. The Open Educational Resources (OER) are produced by community colleges across the nation and can be found, reused, revised, retained, redistributed and remixed by individuals, institutions, and industry.


Developed by the University System of Georgia, GALILEO open learning materials brings together open educational resources throughout the University System of Georgia, including open textbooks and auxiliary materials.This repository is administrated by Affordable Learning Georgia, and initiative of GALILEO and the University System of Georgia which aims to reduce the cost of textbooks to students and contribue to their retention, progression, and graduation.

cool 4 ed logo

A joint effort of the California State University system, California Community Colleges, and the University of California. Featuring course materials and examples of how faculty utilize various materials. 

commonwealth of learning logo

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) was established in 1987 by Commonwealth Heads of Government “… to create and widen access to opportunities for learning, making use of the potential offered by distance education and by the application of communication technologies to education.” (Memorandum of Understanding on the Commonwealth of Learning)

Hosted by the Government of Canada with headquarters in Burnaby, British Columbia, COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning.

OER Africa aims to provide a home for all African OER courseware.  Over the years our focus has been on Agriculture, Foundation Skills, Health and Teacher education where we have a wealth of OER course materials that have been developed for the African context. A recent development that we are excited about is hosting the OER courseware that is being developed through the Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) Project.

OER publishers

Pressbooks "builds software to support new models for book publishing with an emphasis on helping make educational resources (aka digital textbooks) free for all."


OpenBook Publishers

Open Book Publishers books are published in hardback, paperback, pdf and ebook editions, but they also include a free online edition that can be read via their website, downloaded, reused or embedded anywhere. 

Open Square is NYU Press’s platform for publishing and reading open access books. A browser-based reading platform, Open Square enables us to increase the impact of scholarly work by making it freely available in a digital format and to experiment with new ways of presenting scholarship and adding enhanced content to traditionally published books. Open Square features new and recently published titles as well as a growing library of classic backlist publications. NYU Press is committed to expanding our offerings in both categories. Print copies of any of these books can be purchased by clicking the “Buy the Book” link on each title’s detail page.