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A&OER: Affordable & Open Educational Resources

This guide covers ways to find and create Open Educational Resources

What are OER?

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that provide users with

  • free and unfettered access and
  • 5R legal permissions to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them.

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are defined in this manner by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation:

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

For more information on The Hewlett Foundation's work with OERs, please click on the link.

More About OER

OER Examples

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Writing for Success

University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
Open Text Book Library

Writing for Success is a text that provides instruction in steps, builds writing, reading, and critical thinking, and combines comprehensive grammar review with an introduction to paragraph writing and composition.


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Principles of Microeconomics

by Steven A. Greenlaw, University of Mary Washington, Timothy Taylor, Macalester College, Et al.
Rice University Press

Principles of Microeconomics covers the scope and sequence of most introductory microeconomics courses. The text includes many current examples, which are handled in a politically equitable way. The outcome is a balanced approach to the theory and application of economics concepts.



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Authors: Paul Flowers, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Klaus Theopold, University of Delaware, Richard Langley, Stephen F. Austin State University, Et al.
​Rice University

Chemistry is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the two-semester general chemistry course. The textbook provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of chemistry and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. The book also includes a number of innovative features, including interactive exercises and real-world applications, designed to enhance student learning.


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Introduction to Anatomy Series

YouTube Channel
Developed by  Complexly (Formerly EcoGeek LLC) and PBS Digital Studios

Hank teaches you the wonders of Anatomy & Physiology!

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Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Video

Howard Hughes Medical Institute 
OER Commons

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is performed looking through a microscope and using small glass pipettes to handle human eggs and to remove and transfer nuclei from one cell to another. SCNT is used to produce clones of cells with the same genetic background as the donor nucleus. This presentation is also featured on the DVD Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Regeneration, available free from HHMI. This video is one minute and 59 seconds in length, and available in MOV (4 MB) and WMV (7 MB).

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Voices and Visions American Poets

New York Center for Visual History

The lives and works of 13 renowned American poets are interpreted through dramatic readings, archival photographs, dance, performances, and interviews in this inspiring series. Illustrative poems in each program are accompanied by insights into their historical and cultural connections. The series covers the terminology of poetry and the larger role of poets in American and world literature studies. Poets include Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Elizabeth Bishop. 

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Creative Commons Image Search

Creative Commons

Use this prototype to find images that you can use and remix across several open archives.

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WorldImages Kiosk

California State University

The internationally recognized WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It has just been selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials. It contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery.


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Health Education Assets Library

University of Utah

The Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) is a collection of over 22,000 freely available digital materials for health sciences education. The collection is now housed at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Digital Library. 

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Ted Talks


TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. 

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Human Geography

OER Commons

A video instructional series on geography for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 10 half-hour video programs and coordinated books.

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Foundations of Software Testing

Author: Association for Software Testing, Cem Kaner,Douglas Hoffman, James M. Bach, and Rebecca L. Fiedler 
OER Commons

This subset of the Black Box Software Testing collection includes lecture videos, slides, suggested readings, and study questions focusing on the Foundations of Software Testing including: basic terminology, the mission of testing, the oracle problem, the measurement problem, the impossibility of complete testing, and relevant foundational concepts from the computer science field.

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Microeconomics Simulation

Author: Betty J. Blecha, San Francisco State University
Pedagogy in Action the SERC portal for Educators

Teaching general equilibrium analysis to students is challenging. General equilibrium models are typically accessible to only a small handful of mathematically well prepared students. Yet the growing significance of general equilibrium models in economics challenges instructors to find ways to make these models accessible to undergraduate students. The simulation gives microeconomics instructors an alternative to the traditional Edgeworth box graphical presentation. 


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Investigating Case Based Learning for Biology

Authors: Margaret Waterman, Southeast Missouri State University and Ethel Stanley, Beloit College
BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

This text module focuses on the use of narrative cases as a way to initiate student-centered investigation. Cases are descriptions of richly complex, realistic situations and the people, organisms, and systems involved in those situations. In the first version of this module, three cases in multiple parts are presented in Kingdoms Entangled: Molecules, Maize, and Malaria. The cases all share a central event that organizes the action, namely a blight of corn caused by a fungus. Its main characters are two graduate biology students studying corn genetics and ecology.


French Learning Object Repository

Authors: Martin Beaudoin, Christian Guilbault, Catherine Caws & Norm Friesen
University of Victoria, University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University

FLORE is a free repository of French language educational resources. It is meant to help the user find appropriate sites and specific learning objects to learn or teach French. FLORE is designed for faculty and students in post-secondary institutions and it offers over 1000 online resources with annotations such as content descriptions and peer reviews. FLORE differs from online repositories because it contains links to very specific objects such as tables extracted from a larger web site for instance. By using the advanced search function, you can find sites or learning objects that answers your own learning needs.

Why Open Education Matters

Does OER Improve Student Learning?

Yes! Over 13 peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on OER use in higher education over the past five years. None of these studies showed results in which students who utilized OER performed worse than their peers who used traditional textbooks or course materials. In fact, all studies showed that students who had unlimited access to their course materials and were engaged in open pedagogy assignments performed better or the same as their peers with traditional course materials and more limited access. 

For a complete list on every major study conducted on OER efficacy and/or teacher/student perceptions of such resources in actual practice, please see the Open Educational Group's list of reviewed studies.


Did You Know?

Due to the high cost of course materials at the University of Missouri...

  • 61% of Students have chosen not to purchase a required textbook
  • 75% of students have delayed purchasing a required textbook
  • 17% of students say lack of access to course materials has negatively impacted their grades
  • 13% of students have considered leaving Mizzou because they couldn't afford materials

Open Educational Resources can...

  • lower course material costs for students
  • give instructors more flexibility in how they use and adapt course materials
  • support academic freedom
  • improve access to additional resources
  • create a more equitable learning environment

For Questions or Assistance Please Contact

Profile Photo
Roger Weaver
Library and Learning Resources
400 W. 14th Street
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-4221

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Photos appearing in this guide are protected by U.S. Copyright and may not be used or downloaded without permission.