Exploring the Commons
OER can include full courses, textbooks, or a variety of instructional materials including images, videos, or documents. It is estimated that there are now more than 1.4 billion works licensed under various Creative Commons licenses (State of the Commons, 2017). The growing collection of openly licensed works, whether digital or not, is referred to as The Commons. So how do you go about finding resources that suit your needs? You can find OER by using search engines or by searching or browsing OER repositories.
This video by Amy Hofer, Statewide Open Education Library Services Coordinator, Open Oregon, shares time-saving tips on searching for OER. Remember that an open license gives you many possible ways to legally re-purpose the materials you find.
Contact Jean Shumway, BC3 Librarian, for assistance finding openly licensed resources, as well as assistance with adopting resources and understanding and Creative Commons licenses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. Many of these books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost.
The general repositories include textbooks as well as learning objects, practice exercises, instructional videos, modules, free interactive math and science simulations, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, lectures, and more.
Saylor.org: Offers full courses online. Though they charge students to enroll, they have composed their courses using mostly open materials that can be copied, adapted, etc.
Lumen Learning: Offers complete courses composed of mostly open materials that can be copied and adapted for free. Lumen also offers partnering with institutions to manage and adapt resources for courses at a cost to students. Contact us if you would like to partner with Lumen.
Open Course Library:
Using Google Advanced Search
The Google search engine has an “Advanced Search” that lets you search by usage rights for content published to the Internet under an open license. The Advanced Search dialogue can be found under the Settings function or can be directly accessed at http://www.google.com/advanced_search