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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Learn how to find and use OER for teaching and learning (go/oerguide/)

First Steps

Are you a faculty member thinking about using an open textbook or other OER in your course? You can start by asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Are there high quality OER available in my field?
  • Do I know how to evaluate the OER available to me?
  • Do I want or need to adapt an existing OER and tailor it to my course?
  • Do I have the time and resources to create new OER for my course?

After asking these questions, you can decide whether to adopt, adapt, or create a new OER for use in your course. 


If there are high quality Open Educational Resources available on your course topic, and you don't feel the need to edit them for use in your course, you might consider adopting them for use "as is." Adopting is the simplest way to include OER in your course, and the least time intensive. A link to the OER can be placed in your syllabus, in Canvas, or in the Course Hub (or all of the above). During the bookstore adoption period, you can indicate your use of OER in the MBS Course director website.

Adapt or Collect

If there are OER available on your course topic, but they are dated, too broad, or contain information which is beyond the scope of your course, you may want to consider adapting the materials. After checking that the Creative Commons license attached to the materials allows for adaptation, you may choose to edit the materials and tailor them to your course. 

Alternately, if there are OER available on your course topic, but no single resource is broad enough to cover the needs of your course, you may want to consider collecting a variety of materials to be made available via your syllabus, Canvas, or the Course Hub. For example, you may choose a selection of various OER, combined with other online materials and websites. 


If there are no high quality OER available on your topic, or if you have course materials which you believe are superior to the OER available, you may consider creating or licensing your own course materials. Creating Open Educational Resources can be as simple as openly licensing and sharing a syllabus you currently use, or sharing lesson plans on OER repositories like OER Commons

Other OER creation processes, such as publishing open textbooks, can be more complex. For more information, visit our Library Support page.