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Information Literacy: 22. Open Educational Resources

Strategies used to incorporate research skills for the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Management, the Pacific Northwest College of Arts, and the School of Computing and Informations Sciences.

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Getting Started with Open Educational Resources (OER)

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights." 

(About OER Commons & Open Education, 2020)

Why Do OERs Matter?

  • Students save money: Estimated cost for textbooks and supplies at Willamette is less than $1,000 per year. This is less than the national average of $1,200 which continue to increase at a staggering rate.*
  • Pedagogical freedom: Faculty can add, remove, and modify content to fit their classroom rather than having an expensive textbook dictate topics and order.
  • Immediate and lasting accessResources can be accessed immediately, retained, and returned to again and again.

What is Open Access, and what makes OERs "Open"?

OER typically refers to teaching and learning materials released under such a license, while Open Access usually refers to research publications. Read more here

OERs and Open Access research use Creative Commons licenses to provides rights to adopters. The Creative Commons are a set of free and easy-to-use copyright licenses that provide a simple and standardized way to give the public legal permission to share and use your creative work on the conditions of your choice.  

OER licenses allow adopters to:

  • Retain a copy of the content
  • Reuse the content in a range of ways
  • Revise the content as needed
  • Remix original or revised content with other material
  • Redistribute the original, revisions, and remixes with others

Search for Open Resources

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is an open educational resource search tool. It covers content from 95 different institutions and contains 367,883 items.

MOM iconMason OER Metafinder (MOM)
Advanced Search

Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) search multiple open education repositories like OpenStax, OER Commons, MERLOT, HathiTrust, DPLA, and Internet Archive. 

Browse or Search Major OER Collections & Open Textbooks

BC Open Textbooks - Search or browse by subject their collection of open textbooks. Art & Design, physical & Life Sciences, Business, Computer Science, Health & Medical, Humanities, Social Sciences, and more.

California Open Online Library for Education (Cool4Ed) - Textbooks include those listed in MERLOT and in other Creative Commons depositories. Covers Arts, Business, Education, Humanities, Math & Statistics, Science & Technology, and Social Science.

Mason OER Metafinder - Search over 20 different sources of open educational materials. Search multiple OER repositories like OpenStax, OER Commons, MERLOT, HathiTrust, DPLA, Internet Archive, and NYPL Digital Collections. 

MERLOT - 91,000 curated online learning materials for every field of study, ranging from open textbooks to full fledged online courses. Limited results to textbook types or by one of the eight main disciplines: Arts, Business, Education, Humanities, Health and Statistics, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Work Force Development. 

MIT Open Textbooks and Courses - This the freely available online textbooks in MIT OpenCourseWare, some of which are e-versions of print books while others are self-published online books, or course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook. Browsable by department, primarily in the sciences. 

OASIS - This is a searchable collection of over 2,400 textbooks from 95 institutions, covering all major disciplines.

OER Commons - Contains over 1,000 contemporary textbooks, covering all major disciplines: Applied Science, Arts & Humanities, Business & Communication, Education, English Language Arts, History, Law, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science, and Social Science.

Open Textbook Library - This resource lists open textbooks by subject, including Business, Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Journalism, Media Studies & Communications, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

OpenStax - This provides free access to thousands of learning objects in Mathematics, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Business, and more.

Teaching Commons - This resources contains textbook and other open educational resources from colleges and universities around the world. It is both searchable and browsable by content type and subject area.

Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209