Open Educational Resources (OERs) continue to have a positive impact on your students’ education and your school’s budget.To help you further grasp the benefits of OERs we’re going to cover some of the most popular repositories. Despite varying in size and subject, each essentially does the same thing: provide a wide range of free or inexpensive educational materials that can either serve as supplemental resources or become a replacement for textbooks altogether.
Created by the faculty of Rice University, OpenStax can be divided into two separate repositories: OpenStax CNX and OpenStax College. OpenStax CNX is comprised of thousands of materials that can be organized into books. OpenStax College is a smaller repository, and the materials are pre-organized according to subject, effectively making them free textbooks.
With more than 45,000 user-rated and peer-reviewed OERs, Merlot II is an expansive and in-depth resource hub. Founded by the California State University System, there are more than 3,000 open textbooks in the Merlot II collection. Instructors who use Merlot II can not only rate the materials they choose to use, they can also participate in discussions about their materials on the repository’s website.
Created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, OER Commons gives your school access to more than 70,000 materials, offers tools for creating your own OER collection, training on how to implement and use OERs in the classroom and the ability to create your own group that shares OERs with one another. As one of the more flexible and user-friendly repositories, OER Commons is a popular option among instructors looking for an interactive OER experience.
There are more sites that offer similar resources which will help your school make OERs a part of your curriculum. With an emphasis on digital content becoming more common there are sure to be more sites popping up. One of the benefits of OER repositories is that since they’re mostly free, there’s no reason to limit yourself to just a single one.
These resources are a great start and we’d love to know where and how you ultimately settle on the right resources for your classrooms. Leave us a comment telling us what you plan to do or have already done regarding your OERs.