More OER

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) can enhance a course and add benefit for the learners. But how do you know where and when to use OER? Start by taking a look at the instructional materials you currently use in your courses. Identify units and lessons that learners typically struggle with and/or some differentiated content to personalize the online or blended learning experience for your learners. Focus on learning objectives or outcomes. With those in mind, you can begin the search.

There are so many places to find OER. Many sites have already curated that content for you, you just need to know where to look. Our QM community in particular recommends and uses the following sites routinely to find instructional materials for their courses:

Higher Education

  1. MERLOT — Contains more than 45,000 resources from the California State University System. All resources are rated, peer-reviewed and tallied by how many personal collections each resides in.
  2. MIT OpenCourseware — Need OER resources on aeronautics, civil engineering and material science? Then look no further than MIT’s library of online textbooks, one of only a few sources for OER in these disciplines.
  3. OER Commons — This site from the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education offers 73,000 kinds of OER, along with tools for creating OER and training on how to use OER.
  4. Open Education Consortium — Join this community of more than 240 schools where you’ll find an OER resource toolkit, webinars, in-person events and links to open textbooks.
  5. Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative — Find STEM and computing resources on this site from Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University.
  6. Saylor Academy — Saylor’s site is highly recommended for finding resources in the following disciplines: Art History, Business, Engineering, History, Political Science and Psychology.
  7. The Orange Grove: Florida’s Open Educational Resource Repository — Use this Florida-based site to find, use and share a wide range of K-12 and postsecondary resources. You can even integrate this repository with your learning management system.

K-12

  1. PBS LearningMedia — Search by grade level, subject and Common Core standard to find resources in English language arts, math, professional development, science and health and social studies.
  2. NeoK12 — Looking for video clips to incorporate into your course? This sites has hundreds of video clips, covering the subjects of science, math, health, social studies and English.
  3. HippoCampus — This site from the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education offers a host of resources including slideshow presentations on a variety of general education topics like algebra and biology.
  4. Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune — Find articles about science, history and current events on this interactive site for grades 5-8.
  5. EdSITEment: Best of Humanities on the Web — Use this site to find high-quality material t in the subject areas of literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, history and social studies.
  6. Watchknowlearn.org — This site offers over 50,000 free educational videos in 5,000 categories for the K-12 classroom.
  7. The Orange Grove: Florida’s Open Educational Resource Repository — Use this Florida-based site to find, use and share a wide range of K-12 and postsecondary resources. You can even integrate this repository with your learning management system.
  8. MERLOT — More than 45,000 resources from the California State University System. All resources are rated, peer-reviewed and tallied by how many personal collections each resides in.

Integrating OER

Once you find a resource, take some time to evaluate it. Does the material you found:
  •  Contribute to the achievement of the stated learning objectives?
  •  Have sufficient breadth and depth?
Is the material you found:
  •  Appropriate to the reading level of the intended students?
  •  Current?
  •  Culturally diverse and bias free?
  •  Free from adult content and unnecessary advertisements?
  •  Accessible?
How will you:
  •  Clearly integrate it within your course activities?
  •  Make it clear to students if it is required or enrichment?
  •  Cite your source?