Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Instructors can find OER in a variety of resources. Most OER organizations or collaborations have a database or central list of resources that faculty have added. Some databases also feature annotations or faculty feedback. Additionally, many disciplines have their own OER websites. The list below is not comprehensive but can instead be used as a starting point for faculty doing interdisciplinary work or work in any discipline. Remember that not all of the learning materials in these repositories and sources are OER for modifying but most of the content is freely available under Fair Use and/or with attribution.
Resources across Disciplines and Formats
Virtual Lab Resources
Started by POD and LeighAnn Tomaswick, community contributed resources for open/free virtual simulations.
OER and OCW Search Engines
Recorded Lectures & Video Tutorials Search
Modular Course Components
National Science Digital Library
Provides a robust search to limit by activity type, media format, and age level.
More advanced, specific science resources that are open and could be used in a classroom setting.
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Educational Repository
Funded by the NSF and organized by large LC headings.
The Chem Collective
Created by a group of faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon to help those teaching/ learning Chemistry.
Virtual Chem Course Resources
This is a set of resources for moving chemistry coursework online. Links/short descriptions of re-worked class plans, resources for students, how-tos for remote lecture/streaming/capture. It’s a work in progress, feel free to add links to materials. If something isn’t open access, even if it is very inexpensive, please note with ($).
Scitable by Nature Education
A free science library and personal learning tool. Currently concentrates on genetics and cell biology.
Organization dedicated to helping IT leaders and strategic leaders in education, specifically higher education.
Nursing and Allied Health
Guide Copyright, Permissions, and Attributions
This research guide was created by Nicole Arnold, built off the work of Allegra Swift at UCSD.
OER Search Tips
Tips for Searching OER:
- Use the advanced searching feature if there is one. This will save you some time and limit your search.
- Start with broad terms (ex. disease instead of cancer) and then narrow.
- As you narrow, think about disciplinary language. Is there something else this topic might be referred to as?
- If you still aren't getting good results, try to start with the browsing feature (even if it's very broad). Sometimes the term your searching isn't used but you still know it would be under a broad subject like "humanities" or "writing".
Also, see below for an infograpic which visualize the process of searching for OER.
*Note: this infographic was adapted and modified from the University of Texas at Austin's original infographic. For more information, see their Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning website.
Evaluate OER Options
Here are a few steps you might take in the evaluation process. If this process seems lengthy, think about the process you follow to review textbooks and other materials for your course. You can use a similar or modified evaluation process to that.
- Does this OER cover the content you'd like your students to learn in this course or module?
- How accessible is this content? Will it be accessible for your students or is it too technical? Or, vice versa, is it robust and challenging enough for your students?
- How can you use the content? Verify the license that the resource is under. Can you remix or revise the OER as long as it isn't for commercial purposes? Who do you have to credit if you use it? Will you be able to use it? For more help with this, please contact a librarian.
- Once you determine how you can use the OER, what would you like to do with it? Does only a portion of it apply to your class? Would you possibly want to combine this OER with another OER or resource? Does the library have access to articles that could act as supplemental readings? (For more information, please contact a librarian).
- As you collect more OER and other resources, save them in a central location. Take note of how you envision using them. Align these resources with the learning objectives and weekly lessons on your syllabus in order to identify gaps.