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A major function of the Center for Teaching Excellence is to support the ongoing efforts of the college's Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP—improving online learning. Learn more about the QEP.


Open Educational Resources

The term "open" started with "open source" software which meant that not only was the software free to use, but the software code was editable and available to anyone who wanted to modify, enhance, or remake it.

More recently, “open” just means free. The open movement has been spawned by the emergence of the Internet with the ability to disseminate information quickly and inexpensively. Open Educational Resources (OER) are usually licensed with Creative Commons licenses that grant users specific rights for reuse, remixing, and distributing content.

Open Educational Resources can be all kinds of "learning objects" such as animations, videos, interative games, PowerPoint presentations, simple documents and more. See Open Textbooks below for more about this resource.

Finding Open Educational Resources

Because the various archives for open educational resources are typically open for anyone to upload content, there is a large amount of open material out there. Some of it is really good; some of it is, well, not so much. The hard part with OER is the search for good resources.

General Open Educational Resources

USG's Affordable Learning Georgia

MERLOT -- Multimedia Educational Resource for Online Learning and Teaching

The Orange Grove, State of Florida repository

Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction

The World Digital Library
Collection of digital content from around the world including photos and films. Particularly useful for history and the humanities.

PBS Learning Media

OpenCourseWare (MIT)

Wisconsin Online Resource Center
Nice collection of various resources in a number of disciplines.

OER Commons: Open Educational Resources

National Repository of Online Courses (NROC)

Rice Connexions

Minnesota Online Digital Exchange (MODE) Project


Academic Earth

Open Course Library

A collection of complete courses freely available for download

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

Another collection of complete coures

The Public Domain Review


Writing Spaces


The National Science Digital Library

Star Software from MIT:

Virtual Chemistry

Interactive Simulations

BioInteractive (variety of multimeida resources)

Annotated guide to the most useful websites for teaching U.S. history


Videos specifically

Academic Earth
Videos for a variety of subjects.


Khan Academy
Video lessons on many topics

Mostly science-related videos

PBS Learning Media


Speakers on all sorts of topics

Videos with lessons

Cute puppys plus many very useful videos. You just have to find them.


Directory of Open Access Journals

Open Textbooks

Open textbooks to some extent solve the problem of rising textbook costs. The price of textbooks has risen more than the cost of most things in the last 30 years driving up the overall cost of higher education. Free, or lower cost, textbooks can make a significant difference in students’ ability to afford, and therefore finish, a college education. Open textbooks also offer opportunities for collaborative and interactive resources that have the potential of being more effective than traditional textbooks. See also creating coursepacks for help putting together your own collection of readings.

What’s in it for you to adopt open textbooks?

Your students will likely appreciate not having to spend as much for textbooks (especially if you point out that you specifically made the decision to choose an open textbook!). You might also find that some open textbooks that you can remix to your own liking are more effective than traditional, printed textbooks that you have to take as they are.

Finding Open Textbooks

California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) (commercial site)

Open Books

This directory is not for textbooks, but you may find other open books of use in the classroom or personally:

Directory of Open Access Books