Open Educational Resources (OER’s) are educational resources that are available either freely, or at very low cost, mostly over the Internet. These can include texts, lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, and other items that are designed to aid students and instructors.
Tompkins Cortland Community College is a member of the CCCOER (Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources), which is a good place to start to learn about these resources and how you can use them to enhance your courses.
OER’s include Open Textbooks, for which a new initiative has begun at Tompkins Cortland and throughout the country. There are a number of online repositories that provide these texts for free (or at very low cost) in electronic form. They can also be printed by the student, or printed and bound in textbook form by our print shop for distribution at a cost that is much lower than that of traditional textbooks.
Another advantage of Open Textbooks is that instructors can often modify them to suit their particular needs.
The “Guide for Adopting Open Textbooks” is a tutorial that is freely available for you to learn more about the Open Textbook concept.
You can also find an overview of many Open Textbooks, with peer reviews, at the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative.
Open Textbooks Repositories
Selected repositories that currently provide Open Textbooks:
- Flat World Knowledge
- Orange Grove Text Plus
- Global Text Project
- Textbook Media (formerly Freeload Press)
Note that while the availability of these resources is currently limited, this is just the beginning of a trend that promises to grow over the next few years.
Other Online Open Educational Resources
Many non-text educational resources are also freely available on the Internet.
You can find out more about these at the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. The Wikieducator site also provides an Open Educational Resources Handbook for Educators.
Here are some of the sites that provide links to these resources: