About Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) can range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests,, audio, video, and animation. These materials are either in the public domain or licensed in a manner that provides users with permission to engage in the any of the “5Rs” – the ability to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them. Watch “An Introduction to Open Educational Resources” to learn more.

OER Benefits

  • Replacing expensive textbooks and course materials with OER gives students significant savings and equal access.
  • They are available online the first day of term. 
  • Courses using OER have been found to have lower DFW rates and students achieve higher grades (Colvard, Watson, and Park, 2018).
  • Educators can customize content for their students.
  • With OER, educators can share their content globally.

Finding OER 

  • BCcampus – Includes textbooks from the British Columbia Open Textbook Project.
  • Merlot - Learning materials and exercises submitted by the MERLOT community.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare - MIT course content published openly for all to use.
  • OER Commons - A collection of open educational resources. This database was created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.
  • OpenStax - Open textbook initiative based at Rice University. Textbooks are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  • Open SUNY Textbooks - Open SUNY Textbooks is an open textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries.
  • Open Textbook Library - Provides textbooks that are openly licensed, free, and peer-reviewed.


The Dartmouth Library and DCAL support OER through the Open Education Initiative.