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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Open Educational Resources: Open Educational Resources

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Find Free Open Courseware

This search includes MERLOT, MIT OPENCOURSEWARE, and the other universities providing OpenCourseWare.

Open Educational Resource Collections

Open Educational Resource repositories listed here cover a wide variety of educational disciplines.  They include OERs targeted at lower education levels as well, but advanced search can often be employed to refine results to university-level content.

  • OER Commons (oercommons.org) Curating best in class learning materials from around the world since 2007.  The OER Commons is a single search source that pulls from multiple OER collections, including MERLOT and Connexions.  It is a great first step in an OER search, but often more results can be found by searching the specific collection.  
    • Users can create collections of existing content and create their own content pages to share.
    • The OER Commons is a supported by ISKME (the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education).
    • Recommended for the Business, Education, History, Life Sciences, Psychology and Sociology subject areas.  
       
  • OpenStax CNX (formerly Connexions) (cnx.org) includes lectures, assignments, and written educational materials.  Content can be created in the Connexions interface and housed within the Connections servers.  Users can create collections of existing content and create their own content pages to share. 
  • MERLOT (merlot.org) is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community. MERLOT was opened in 1997 and is supported by the California State University System.  
    • MERLOT does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content.  The materials can be ranked and many are peer-reviewed.  There are discipline specific Communities that curate and review the content.  
    • You can create and share personal collections of content links.
    • Recommended for the Business, Education, Music, Political Science and Sociology subject areas.  
       
  • OpenWashington - (http://www.openwa.org)  is a site designed to help you understand the OER movement and find OER.  They have links for finding textbooks, content, images and video, as well as stories from faculty who have adopted OER in their classrooms.  
     
  • Saylor.org is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Saylor Foundation, they are focused on bringing "freely available education to all."  Founded in 1999 by Michael Saylor, they have created online courses curated from open content found on the Web.  The courses are marketed toward students who just want to learn, and are working on some methods for offering credentials. For faculty, Saylor is a great site to start your search for OER by subject.  
    • Saylor.org does not house content, but link to outside resources.
    • Lists of the Academic Consultants by subject area are available.
    • Lists of the Content Review Panels by subject area are also available. 
    • They also have a collection of open textbooks.
    • Recommended for the Art History, Business, Engineering, History, Political Science and Psychology subject areas.  
       
  • Orange Grove (http://florida.theorangegrove.org/og/access/home.do) is a online library of openly available instructional resources for Florida's educators. 
    • The Orange Grove does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content.
    • Only Florida educators are allowed to have registered accounts, but anyone can search for and use content linked in the Grove.  Some resources are only available to registered users. 
    • This site is predominantly focused on K-12 content but there are links to content useful for introductory courses. 
       
  • Europeana – is a gateway to European cultural assets, through this one site you can search for artworks, cultural items, archival collections from participating institutions all around Europe.  This site is a gateway, and once you have selected the items you want you will be redirected to the website of the institution that owns the item, and often these sites will not have English translations.  To find an item with the Creative Commons licensing you prefer - 
  1. Once you type in your initial search on the main page, you will have a list of filters on the left hand side of the page
  2. Use the "Can I use it?" and "By Copyright" filters to narrow down your results
  • Canadiana - Canadiana.org is a coalition of members dedicated to providing broad access to Canada's documentary heritage. Through our membership alliance, Canadian libraries share tools and capacity, partner on open-source projects, and spearhead digital preservation in Canada.

 

  • Open Education Consortium - a global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. The Open Education Consortium is a non-profit, social benefit organization registered in the United States and operating worldwide.
    • You can search an integrated database of the Open Education Consortium and MERLOT here (http://www.oeconsortium.org/courses/).

 

  • Serendipity - "Serendipity, unlike other traditional OER search engines, allows users explore in an integrated and incremental manner. It offers guided navigation, starting with a basic keyword and going through several filters to refine the desired search and access the full description of the courses as published by the home institution. The project is sponsored by the research group GICAC from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Universitad Particular Tecnica de Loja (UTPL) in collaboration with the Open Education Consortium (OEC)."

 

OpenCourseWare Originating Institutions

The OpenCourseWare (OCW) movement began in the United States with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002.  This movement is university driven, and is focused on making the educational course materials that have been created by faculty available outside of the institution.  The materials available vary by course, professor and even semester posed.  Materials can include syllabi,  written lectures, assignments, readings, videotaped lectures, and audio lectures.

Some recommended university sites:

A full list of all current Open Education Consortium Members (See 'Sustaining Members' section for the most important contributors).