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Affordable and Open Educational Resources

This guide will assist NYU instructors in understanding the basics in finding, using, or creating affordable and open course content.

Using OER

OER are online course materials that are often licensed with a Creative Commons license, allowing for their legal display, use, modification, download, printing, etc., without fee, permission, or conducting a fair use analysis.

For additional assistance in locating quality open course materials, contact your subject specialist.

OER for Remote Teaching

OER can be a great source of course material for teaching remotely, either in part or in whole, during these uncertain times.

Infographic on benefits of OER in the COVID-19 pandemic. Plain text version follows

Image: The New Normal: Using OER to re-open education, by BC Campus, licensed CC-BY 4.0). It states:

Covid is hard. Working from home is hard. Switching to and learning how to teach online is hard.

OER can help. Here's how.

Saves instructors tme and money: 

  • No need to gain permission--or pay--to use, print, distribute OER
  • Easy to circulate among an unlimited number of students

Cash-strapped students save money:

  • Online versions are free to students (and instructors)
  • No access code needed
  • No expiration date

Ideal for working from home:

  • OER is online
  • Printed options are available too

Grants freedom in a time of constraints:

  • May use without fear of copyright infringement
  • Can change content to suit student needs, teaching method, curriculum

Fights isolation:

  • Everyone can be included for content additions, updates, improvements
  • OER can be used as an agent of change for diversity, equity, inclusion

OER Search Tools

OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search)

This OER search tool from SUNY Geneseo combines 155,000+ records from more than 50 different sources to allow you to search for open educational content based on subject, license, material type, reviews, and more: 

Mason OER Metafinder Search

This OER Metafinder Search tool from Mason University searches across a number of OER databases at once, allowing you to condense your searches for quality resources into one.

Open Textbook Collections

Each of the open textbook collections listed below have been peer-reviewed by faculty in that particular discipline to ensure quality in keeping with current academic standards: 

Open Stax College Textbooks from Rice University

Open Stax has a growing collection of peer-reviewed, openly licensed university textbooks in a variety of disciplines, from the sciences to the social sciences to the humanities. Faculty wishing to adopt a textbook must register for a free account.

Open Textbook Library from the University of Minnesota

The Open Textbook Library has a collection of over 100 peer-reviewed and openly licensed titles  in a wide range of disciplines. It is supported by the Open Textbook Network, a collaboration of library partners from colleges and universities across the country.

Other Sources of OER

These resources have not necessarily been peer-reviewed but can still serve as a great sources of quality OER for course adoption, with or without modification: