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Open Educational Resources: OER Quick Start

Learn how to incorporate open educational resources into your classroom.

Quick Links

A quick listof some of the top OER sites.

What is Creative Commons

What the heck is this anyway?creative commons logo

Open education resources depend on a type of licensing that allows the copyright owner to freely distribute their materials under certain terms. 

The CC license puts certain restrictions on materials, and there are different permissions associated with each license. 

This site, about publishing a book using a CC license, has a pretty good overview of the process, and has a nice charted summary of the symbols and the permissions they allow.

When you are considering using someone else's OER materials for your class, make sure you examine the particular CC license. Most allow re-use with attribustion for non-commerical purposes. However, some licensing does not allow for re-mixing or adaptation.

What are OERs?

Open Educational Resources - from Wikimedia Commons -
"Open Educational Resources 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." - 2018 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

OERs are not just textbooks but include all sorts of materials including:

  • videos
  • sound recordings
  • images
  • articles
  • data sets
  • question banks

and more that can be remixed and shared with little to no restrictions. 

Why should you publish/ use open?

Get Involved!

Attention by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Indiana State University actively supports instructors who want to pursue using OERs in their courses. If you are ISU faculty teaching undergraduates, you may qualify for a stipend to convert your class.


We are always accepting new instructors.  During the conversion process, you will take a self-paced course to learn more about OERs and how to find and evaluate them for your course.

We have a few requirements:

  1. Only undergraduate classes that are either Foundational Studies or required for a major are eligible.
  2. You must use the OER materials in the class for at least two semesters.
  3. The course must be an established course that has been taught previously (new courses are not eligible).
  4. Students must save at least $3000 in textbooks costs over the two semesters. For a 30-40 student class, this means that the textbook must cost around $45-50.

For more information, contact me by email or phone.