Professional Learning: 

Open Educational Resources

Promoting Access to HigherEd using OERs

The OER movement within higher education has been growing in recent years with the introduction of larger ministry funded advocacy organizations such as BCCampus, OpenEd Manitoba, and eCampusOntario. This section provides quick overview to OERs and includes a wealth of resources that could help faculty remove financial barriers by replacing a textbook with open educational resources.

By Giulia Forsythe@bccampus #OERforum @opencontent Why Open Education? [visual notes] CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

What are OERs?

There are various ways to describe OERs but the definition provided by United Nations Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) demonstrates the versatility in open education. 

“OERs are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.” UNESCO (2019)

In short, an OER is not simply an alternative textbook but rather a learning resource that can be freely distributed and used with no cost. This includes images, papers, slide decks, etc... 

Learn more by reviewing previous presentations on "Exploring OERs" , resources on the Learning Portal, and familiarize yourself with the various Creative Commons Licenses that enable us to share/collaborate. 

REMINDER: Connect with the SLC Library to learn more using the following contact information:

Teaching Spotlight

Deanna Davies, Professor, Project Management - Kingston

"In 2019-20 I used OER for all of my courses in the School of Business.  My intention was to save the students, to explore unique tools, and to share with others.  My experience was incredible.  I found a collaborative group of like-minded educators that were always exploring current content to share with our inquisitive students.  The students were appreciative of the savings and the adaptions of accessible, relevant, and current information.  Overall, my experience was positive and I will continue, where possible, to use OER. "

Open Educational Resources

The following websites include open educational resource databases that contain a series of open teaching materials. The search engines within each database may vary as the content is curated by each organization so it's important to review a few if you are looking for one particular resource. 

eCampusOntario - Open Library

Open Textbook Database

Open Ed Manitoba

Open Textbook Database

BC Campus

Open Textbook Database

OPEN SUNY Textbooks

Open Textbooks Database

H5P Studio - eCampusOntario

Series of interactive learning activites built by Ontario Educators


Open Course Materials & Interactive Simulations


Sample Learning Exercises

MIT Open Courseware

Fully Open Online Courses

Khan Academy

Open video lessons & teaching resources

OER Commons

Large OER database

Stay Connected to the OER movement 

Open Education Week - March 6 to 10, 2023

Open Education Practitioners celebrate their achievements every year during Open Education Week. This week features a series of local and global learning events in an effort to promote open education. Many of the events include free webinars so book your calendar for next year. Make sure to review the following resources as you continue to explore OERs.