Find Free Course Materials and Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Decorative: "Free the textbook" with open books flying through white clouds in a blue sky


A. "How to Download Thousands of Classic Books and Movies That Just Entered the Public Domain" (post) celebrates the fact that "[b]ecause the [American] copyright on works published between 1923 and 1977 is good for 95 years, this [2019] marks the first time in decades that a large number of books, movies, and songs has entered the public domain" and lists several points of access for these materials:

B. Librivox

Beyond these basic resources, though, there are many other -- and contemporary -- free educational materials available.

  • Whenever possible in my courses, I try to use public-domain or open-access educational resources to keep students' costs down.
  • I am particularly fond of Librivox, which provides free public domain audiobooks in a variety of languages: this makes texts readily accessible to students with reading/language challenges ... and instructors can "read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them available for free on the Internet" if their desired public-domain texts are not yet included in Librivox's extensive library.
  • Other instructors may also want to included open educational resources but be uncertain where to begin. The below articles and resources provide useful starting points.

C. Getting Started with OERs (Open Educational Resources)

D. Finding Resources

The Teaching Commons has an extensive, annotated list of repositories that make resources available in most disciplines as well as lists of other, subject- or media-specific collections of resources.

1. Multi-Subject Tools and Sources

2. Medium- and Subject-Specific Tools and Resources

3. Library Resources

The Library has libguides on "Open Access and Scholarly Communications" and "Open Access: Faculty Guide to Open Educational Resources - OER."

a. "Open Access and Scholarly Communications" includes the following:

  • "What Is Open Access?"
  • "How to Find Open Access Repositories"
  • "How to Find Open Access Journals"
  • "Why Publish as Open Access?"
  • Types of Open Access" -- "Green open access," "Gold open access," "Hybrid models"

b. "Open Access: Faculty Guide to Open Educational Resources - OER" includes the following:

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