Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as:

“learning, teaching, and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, repurpose, adaptation and redistribution by others”  

Where Can I Find OERs?

Looking for help finding or using OERs? Contact Us!

Click on a section head below to jump to the following categories of resources:

Why Use OER?


OER Repositories

Internet Archive OERA collection of virtual lectures, teaching materials, and open textbooks
MIT OpenCourseWareA web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content
OER CommonsA collection of over 50,0000 OER including online courses, textbooks, lesson plans, simulations, and interactive lessons
Open Course LibraryA collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments
Open Knowledge RepositoryCreated by The World Bank, mostly focussed on Business
University of British Columbia’s Open Data CollectionUBC Library’s Open Collections include digital photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more. These publicly-accessible collections are constantly growing and reflect the research interests of the UBC community and beyond
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Open Textbooks

BC Campus OpenEdOpen textbooks for common first and second year subject areas in the British Columbia’s public post-secondary system
eCampus Ontario Open LibraryCurated textbooks geared to post-secondary studies in Canada
Manitoba Open Textbook InitiativeCampus Manitoba and BCcampus have partnered to build a this catalogue of textbooks that have all been created, reviewed, or adapted by faculty at post-secondary institutions in British Columbia
MERLOT Open TextbookMultimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) is a curated resource of free and open textbooks for use in teaching and learning
OpenstaxFounded by Rice University, all textbooks and content is peer-reviewed
Open Textbook LibraryThis collection of openly licensed textbooks is from the University of Minnesota
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Open Books

Directory of Open Access BooksAs a discovery service for peer reviewed books published under an Open Access license, DOAB provides a searchable index to the information about these books, with links to the full texts
LibrivoxLibrivox’s goal is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the Internet
Project GutenbergProject Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks
Project Gutenberg CanadaProvides access to free eBooks available in the Public Domain in Canada
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Open Journals

BioOneBioOne Complete is a database of more than 200 subscribed and open-access titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences
BioLineBioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries
Directory of Open Access JournalsDOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals
International Council For Open And Distance EducationThe IRRODL is a refereed, open access e-journal that disseminates original research, theory, and best practice in open and distributed learning worldwide
Public Library of Science (PLoS)A nonprofit Open Access publisher and advocacy organization with a mission of leading a transformation in scientific and medical research communication
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Open Media

CC MixterAn open and free community music remixing site featuring remixes and samples licensed under Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons SearchSearches websites for images that are creative commons licensed and that can be reused
Flickr: The CommonsA photo sharing site where institutes such as The Library Of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, and various others can post and share images that have no known copyright restrictions
Free Music ArchiveA library of high-quality, royalty free audio downloads where creators have used Creative Commons licenses
Library and Archives CanadaLibrary and Archives Canada preserves and makes accessible the documentary heritage of Canada. Access to resources include publications, archival records, sound and audio-visual materials, photographs, artworks, and electronic documents
MusopenProvides public domain recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions
Mutopia ProjectOffering sheet music editions of classical music for free download
PexelsA photo and video repository that is free to use and does not require any attribution to the author
PixabayA repository for public domain images. You can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use
Public Domain Clip ArtA repository of 25,000+ public domain clip art
UnsplashProfessional photography images with creative commons zero license
US Library of CongressAccess to print, pictorial and audio-visual collections and other digital services
Vimeo & YouTubeVideos with a CC license can be found through Advanced Search options on both of these platforms
Wikimedia CommonsAn online database of freely usable media files with no restrictions
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Open Data

AMOpenAssociation of Municipalities of Ontario open data
Data.govU.S. federal data with links to U.S. states, cities and counties with web sites that provide open data
EU Open Data PortalA portal housing a variety of open data across EU policy domains, including the economy, employment, science, environment and education
Google Public Data ExplorerPublic interest data sets that you can explore using Google’s data tools
Open Data CanadaGovernment of Canada’s open data sets, covering demographic, financial, map data, and more
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Research On OERs

Barker, J., Jeffery, K., Jhangiani, R. S., & Veletsianos, G. (2018). Eight patterns of open textbook adoption in British Columbia. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(3).
Campus Alberta OER Program Evaluation. March 31, 2017. Campus Alberta Open Educational Resources.
White Paper on Open Educational Resources. November 2017. Ontario Council of University Libraries.
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Policy & Implementation Resources

Adopting Open Textbooks. Peer 2 Peer University. This online course is not currently active but all materials (documents, videos) are still available. BCcampus. 2015.
OER Policy Videos. A series of six video interviews with OER leaders. Open Washington: Open Educational Resources Network. 
OER Policy Development Tool. Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager Open Education, BCcampus and Institute for Open Leadership Fellow, and Daniel DeMarte, Chief Academic Officer, Tidewater Community College and Institute for Open Leadership Fellow. 
OER: The Champion’s Toolkit. Alberta Open Educational Resources. 
Policy and Open Education: Less Boring Than You Might Think. November 8, 2018. James Skidmore, University of Waterloo (blog). 
The Implementation of Open Educational Resources at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. July 15, 2018. Contact North. 
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