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Open Educational Resources (OER)

OERs give instructors the ability to customize course content and can save students substantial amounts of money.

Open Educational Resources are materials with few or no copyright restrictions and available at no cost online. For more detail, check out this online course about OER.

The resources collected in these pages have no or very limited copyright restrictions. When adopting or adapting any material, be sure you are aware of the copyright restrictions.

    • College Open Textbooks
      Links to various providers with a focus on quality products for community colleges.
    • Global Text Project
      Some produced by the Project, some linked to other producers. Limited coverage.
    • OpenStax
      High quality but limited subjects. The textbook part of Connexions.
    • Open Textbook Library
      Maintained by the University of Minnesota. Links to quality books with informative annotations.
    • Textbook Equity
      Free PDFs with option to purchase print versions.
    • Writing Spaces
      Open textbook project for college level writing
    • AMSER
      The Applied Math and Science Education Repository "directs users to high-quality science, technology, engineering and math resources."
    • Connexions
      Textbooks and a wide variety of materials of varying quality.
    • Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
      In addition to indexing a number of available resources, there are useful webinars for faculty about OER.
    • Merlot
      Huge curated collection of materials with peer-reviews and user ratings.
    • MIT OpenCourseWare
      Materials for all MIT courses.
    • Open Course Library
      Created by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Materials stored in GoogleDocs.
    • Open Learn
      The materials in the Free Courses from the UK''s Open University.
    • Saylor
      Online, self-paced, non-acrredited college-level courses. All class materials are CC.
    • JHSPHOpenCourseWare
      Classes with educational materials available from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
    • Jorum
      Large collection from the UK.
  • Copyright is confusing, even intimidating, and therefore often ignored. But ignorance of the law is not a defense and, as educators, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves.

    Learn more about copyright policies

  • Creative Commons Search

    Search CreativeCommons.org

    Search for images and audio with Creative Commons license.  This great infographic explains CC licenses. 

    Some commercial products offer free trials or free student accounts.  These usually come with limits on the use of the final product so be sure you are aware of those restrictions.

    The GNU General Public License is the most widely used free software license.  Look for this when searching for open source tools.

    Search Engines & Lists

    Individual Tools & Resources

    (Unless noted, all are open source)

    • Audacity audio editor
    • VirtualDub video editor
    • Gimp image editor/author
    • Blender for 3D projects
    • Sketch Up for 3D projects; not open source but educator and student versions are available
    • Autodesk for CAD, 3D, and more.  Not open source but free to students with some restrictions
    • Scribus desktop publishing, layout, typesetting, and animated PDF
    • ImageMagick for displaying, converting and editing bitmap images
    • Orgre3D scene-oriented, real-time 3D rendering engine
    • Adobe Flex application framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications
    • PureDyne live audio/visual processing and streaming.  Development discontinued in 2012
    • MIT's Scratch to program interactive stories, games and animation; targeted at K-12 students
    • GitHub free accounts allow hosting of open-source software products
    • Drupel content management system for web design
    • Inkscape vector graphics editor
    • GNU Unix-like operating system
    • Joomla content management system for web design
    • WordPress content management system for web design
    • Jing screencasting tool; some limits on time length and storage

OER & Copyright Questions

Rachelle Stivers

Director of Library and Information Services
EmailRachelle.Stivers@heartland.edu
Phone: 309-268-8274