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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide provides information about Open Educational Resources, or OER, including how to find and evaluate them.

Tips for Searching

Use the right tool for your needs

If you aren’t sure where to start, use a metafinder that pulls in content from multiple repositories, such as SUNY’s Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS). If you are looking for open textbooks, try the Open Textbook Library. If you are looking for videos, start with YouTube or Vimeo. A more comprehensive list of OER repositories can be found in the following pages.

Start broad

Start by searching with basic keywords, such as "chemistry" or "physics" rather than specific terms, such as "mass spectrometry."

Branch out with subject-specific terms

As you keep looking, use alternate search terms specific to the discipline you are looking for. You can identify terms by looking at your course syllabus or schedule, or by browsing the topics in your current textbook's Table of Contents. 

Save useful search terms

Approach your search like you would research for an ongoing project. If a particular tool or search term provided you with good results, save those terms in your note-taking tool of choice so you can trace back your results and try again later. As new OER are being produced annually, you will want to check back regularly for additional resources that may be available. 

Review as you go

Check the OER you find for basic accessibility markers, and make note of any particularly well-crafted content you come across for later. For items with clear and present issues, make note of those and how they could be overcome or adapted for future use. This may be a good starting point for a Miller Open Education Mini-Grant Project!

Leverage curated lists

Seek out lists of resources that have been compiled by instructors and OER professionals already. The number and depth of resources you find through this method will vary widely, but it is a great way to quickly find any resources that have already been pulled together for a specific course.

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Abbey Elder