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Open Resources

This guide walks users through the definition of "open source" and explains the various options for classroom use.

Pros and Cons of Use

The following charts contain arguments for, and against, using and/or creating OER materials:

Pros of Using or Creating OERs
Cost savings for students Students struggling financially may have less ability to acquire expensive textbooks, which impacts grades and retention.
Self-contained courses When all materials are contained within the LMS, there may be less need to update course content based on publisher revisions.
Publishing opportunity Creating your own OERs presents a unique self-publishing opportunity for faculty.
Networking opportunity Using or creating OERs provides a window of opportunity for users and creators to network with others in their field.
Content at the point of need Much goes into the textbook selection process. If there is potential for multiple textbooks in your courses because each has attributes you like, but none have everything you need, OER can serve as a great alternative.
Quick updates Content online can be updated more frequently than print content.
Cons of Using or Creating OERs
Revocation of material If using a hyperlink to OER materials, there is always a chance that the creator will choose to remove the resource. Some Creative Commons licensing stipulations still give content creators the ability to do this at any time without notice.
Outdated content A content creator is not required to update content once it has been "published," so it is possible to find an outdated OER.
Trust As a content creator, you place trust in other users that your content will be used ethically and in accordance with whatever usage terms you set.


Common OER Platforms

Utilizing institutional web space is one option that faculty can utilize. If a college or university permits individual faculty web pages to be linked to its main site, some faculty choose this method to showcase their OER materials.

To locate other OER resources, or to publish your own, you might want to consider some of the following FREE* platforms:

*FREE platforms may still require you to sign up for an account before viewing or creating material.

The following OER platforms have an associated charge:

The above lists represent a small selection of OER platforms. As interest in OER continues to grow, so will the availability of more options, features, and pricing models. 

The Library and OER

OER repository and publishing capabilities via the library

The library's LibGuides platform, which is used for library web content, is an obvious storage solution with search capability for materials you'd like to make OER. If you're interested in having our librarians develop and maintain a guide with your OER content, we recommend contacting us via email or filling out the following request:


Links to "Open" Databases

We include several "open access" databases in our A to Z list. Check out the full list.


Consortium Initiatives

There are also numerous Affordable Learning Initiatives in the work through our OhioLINK Consortium. Read more about those at the following link: