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Copyright for Educators: OER

A guide for educators about copyright and open educational resources.

What is OER

OER stands for Open Education Resources. These are any type of educational resources available to universities, educators, and students with little to no cost. These resources can include textbooks, syllabi, assignments, quizzes, and other course materials that have been put in the public domain or published with open access licenses so that others can use and re-purpose them.

OER Materials

BC Campus - Textbooks searchable by topic. These are marked as whether they have been reviewed by faculty, adopted, and if they have extra resources also available. 

Merlot - Browse open source materials by discipline and filter by topic or type of materials. Includes resources beyond textbooks such as case studies, portfolios, quizzes, course modules, and tools for building your own course module and materials.

MIT OpenCourseWare (MITOCW) - Course materials available and searchable by department or subject. Materials can include syllabus, assignments, readings, and video lectures (not all courses include open source textbooks). Graduate and Undergraduate levels are available.

OERCommons - Resource for building course modules and materials for K-12 and higher learning. You must have an account on the site and it is free to register. Has curated collections of open course materials. The collections are grouped by topic and can be filtered by education level, type of material/resource, subject, language, and education standard.

OpenCourse Library - Developed courses include readings, units, syllabi, and learning objectives for 81 courses. Some courses are paired with a textbook that should not exceed $30.00 per student to purchase.

OpenStax Textbooks - Open license textbooks available for free online or low cost print-on-demand. Also includes community created materials and courses.

Open Textbook Library - Open source textbooks browsable by subject available free digitally or printed for a low cost. These are gathered from other online sites and has a place for user reviews. 

The Orange Grove - Open course materials include textbooks, online learning resources, and courseware gathered from institutions of higher education and other sources around the web. 

World Digital Library - Books, manuscripts, maps, journals, newspapers, sound recordings, films, and prints/photographs available online. Searchable by place, language, time period, topic, type of item, and institution. 

OER Resources

BC Campus - Information, guides, and toolkits for adapting OER and using it in your classroom.

COW (Community for Open Wisconsin) - Wisconsin based community dedicated to OER through WiLS.

COW Paths - Videos and links with additional information on OER, what it is, the impact of OER, and how it is implemented.

Madison College LibGuide -  Information about OER, how to find resources, and other general information.

OER Foundation - Networking site to provide support for educators and sites trying to implement open learning. The site has information about the foundation, member organizations, and tools to build books for members.

Books in the Public Domain

Creative Commons

Watch this video to learn more about Creative Commons