Skip to Main Content

LCC Library

OER | Open Educational Resources

This guide is intended to help faculty and students at Lane Community College learn about OER, re-purpose existing content, and create new resources to share. OER includes free textbooks, online tutorials, and open media that is free of cost or low cost.

OER at Lane

Want to learn more about OER activity and events at Lane?

Visit OER at Lane to learn more about the OER activity on campus.


Ian Coronado, Dean, Academic Technology Center  |

Meggie Wright, OER Librarian |

Claire Dannenbaum, Reference & Instruction Librarian |

Want to learn more about the Oregon OER scene?

Visit to learn about initiatives aimed at Oregon community colleges.

OER Sites for Educators

College Open Textbooks |

  • Approximately 100 peer-reviewed open textbooks collected by non-profit and for-profit corporations.
  • Includes a range of formats and copyright licenses, and all are free of cost.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) |

  • Contains links to a range of multimedia objects from libraries, archives and museums around the US.
  • The copyright status of items vary. However, many items are public domain or available for re-use, and there is information in a "rights" field for each item.


  • A free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education.
  • Links to online learning materials, assignments, and comments to enhance the teaching experience.

OER Commons: Open Textbooks |

  • This catalog contains hundreds of college-level open textbooks from higher education institutions around the world.

Open Course Library |

  • Range of materials including syllabi, course activities, and assessments with a focus on undergraduate-level material. Coordinated by the Washington State Board of Education.

Open Courseware Consortium |

  • Free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses.
  • A collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a large body of open educational content using a shared model.

OpenStax College |

  • OpenStax College offers free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers.

Open Textbook Library |

  • A catalog of open access textbooks made available by the University of Minnesota; all textbooks in this catalog are open licenses, complete, and available in print at very little cost.

Saylor Resource Guides |

  • A variety of openly licensed resources meant to be used in conjunction with Saylor courses.

SmARThistory |

  • A free and open, online, not-for-profit art history textbook with multimedia content.

Textbook Revolution |

  • A student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors.
  • Goal is to bring all of the free textbooks they can find together in one place, review them, and let the best rise to the top and find their way into the hands of students in classrooms around the world.

WikiEducator |

  • An evolving online community developed with the goal of free content for learning.

Step-by-Step to OER

Do you want a textbook-free course? Would you like to incorporate open resources into your course to help students get a better grasp of certain topics? Read on for tips for finding Open Educational Resources to build or add to your classes.

apples on tree

100 year-old apples in Switzerland. Photo by Ellen Wallace, Flickr Commons.
First,  set aside time.  Searching for OER materials takes time and persistence, just like research.

Articulate your learning objectives.  Instead of focusing on the textbook that you would like to replace, focus on what you would like students to learn or do. You will likely need to search for several materials to address different topics or components for a complete class. Example: instead of searching for “biology” materials, search for “cell structure” or “DNA” or “evolution” materials.

Try using Google “Advanced Search” to search for open resources. Do a search using Google and limit your results by category: usage rights.

Search one or more OER repositories/OER search engines.  See the OER for Educators box for a list. Use the browsing tools that the repository or search engine provides. (Don’t rely solely on keyword searching.)

Not finding what you’re looking for? Ask for help! OER liaisons at Lane are listed on the Educators tab, here.

Consider creating and sharing your own OER. Each term, the ATC hosts workshops for using software to create your own materials. If you create materials, consider contributing them to one of the OER repositories.

More advice on searching for OER?  Open Learn has a helpful open, modular online course Creating Open Educational Resources.

Open Education: How to do it

Here are resources to learn more about the open education movement and how to teach with OER.

An Open Education Reader  A collection of readings on open education with commentary created at Brigham Young University and edited by David Wiley.

The Open Education Handbook  This handbook is from the LinkedUp Project with information about tools and software, references, a glossary, case studies, and FAQ.

Open Educational Resources (OER) - A Video Primer

Here are several tools for creating your own resources.

Softchalk | Resource/help page created by Meredith Keene-Wilson at LCC.  Can be used to create interactive tutorials and mash up text/media.

Easily record and edit videos of action on your computer screen.

Youtube | How to upload
The place to upload and store videos for viewing.

Google Drive
Drive allows you to create cloud-hosted documents, presentations, etc. Each document can be linked in Moodle and centrally maintained (i.e. you can update the Google document and it will automatically update in Moodle). This can be useful especially if you are using the same material for multiple classes.

"Easily create ebooks, typeset PDFs, and webbooks. Choose from professionally designed book themes. One button publishing." This platform is available to instructors at Lane through OpenOregon.

Online photo editor and drawing tool. Requires Flash.

Managing content using software

There are many new tools available that allow teachers to gather content from numerous places into one platform. Here are a few examples.

Ginkgotree |

  • Allows teachers to bundle course materials in a user-friendly course management system
  • Sponsored by commercial and non-commercial education organizations
  • Fee-based

AcademicPub |

  • Copyright-cleared content
  • Print option available
  • Used by UC Press for textbooks

TopHat |

  • Integrated classroom"engagement" platform
  • Uses any networked device
  • Fee-based

Moodle | Lane's licensed LMS

Ask Us
We're here to help!