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Some of the most well-known and easy-to-use OER platforms are listed below.
Based out of Rice University, OpenStax publishes peer-reviewed and openly licensed college-level textbooks in math, science, social science, the humanities, and business. OpenStax books come with ancillary materials such as PowerPoint slides and suggested syllabus language. Most books would be best-suited to an introductory level course.
The State University of New York provides grants for its faculty to create these textbooks, which are also peer-reviewed by SUNY faculty. Many different subjects are covered, from nursing to leadership to writing, and at levels that range from introductory to advanced.
LibreTexts offers 'libraries' in the subjects of biology, business, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, humanities, math, medicine, physics, social sciences, Spanish, statistics, and workforce. In addition to textbooks, LibreTexts offers a 'course shell' option where instructors and students can remix content to best suit the needs of the class.
Open Textbook Library
The Open Textbook Library is not a publisher, but a repository that contains open textbooks from many different publishers, including OpenStax and OpenSuny. According to their website, "all textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization."
These databases contain materials from many different OER producers.
A digital library and a collaboration platform, this platform contains materials beyond just textbooks (think assignments, lecture notes, and assessments) and allows searchers to filter by their students' education level, education standards, and language.
Mason OER Metafinder
This platform performs one search simultaneously across 22 different sources of OER, making it very good for finding OER for a niche area of study. You can restrict your search to OER-specific sites, or you can search other openly-licensed materials from places like the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and Project Gutenberg.
Let us search for you
Your librarians would be happy to identify a few OER textbook options for you! Fill out the following form to tell us a little more about your course subject and needs.
Assessing your OER
Once you've found a potential OER, make sure it's a good fit for your course needs by using one of the rubrics listed below.
Achieve OER Rubric
This packet offers eight different rubrics that measure the degree of alignment to standards; the quality of explanation of the subject matter; the utility of materials designed to support teaching; the quality of assessment; the quality of technological interactivity; the quality of instructional and practice exercises; the opportunities for deeper learning; and the assurance of accessibility.
RCampus iRubric for Evaluating OER
This interactive rubric offers 20 different areas of analysis.
Illinois OER Evaluation Checklist
The simplest of these three assessment tools, this checklist asks you to consider the quality, appropriateness, and technical aspects of an OER before implementing it in the classroom.
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