Photograph of a diverse group of students.

Adopting OERs: A Quick Overview

  1. Assess your educational resource needs.
    Start your project by looking at your own syllabus/curriculum and deciding what you need for your course. Since you can customize and combine open educational resources to fit your needs, it's not necessary to change the nature of your course because of a particular OER.
  2. Find OERs and/or library resources about your course, subject, or particular topics.
    Our Free Textbooks page and our Free Course Materials page are great places to start when looking for open textbooks. If you are looking for other open resources, such as courseware, try our Open Online Courses page. You can search beyond Merlot using our Search Other Repositories page.
  3. Evaluate and select the resources you want for your class.
    Read our Selecting Textbooks page for the basics on how to evaluate resources for your course.
  4. Begin replacing your current course resources with your selected open educational resources.
    Begin with your syllabus and consider your learning objectives for each component of the course. When modifying an open textbook, be sure to assign the right non-restrictive open license to the material. You may be able to engage your students in the process.
  5. Record and measure the differences between the use of your past and current course resources.
    Plan on evaluating how the course with the new OERs goes even more than usual—this way, you will be well-informed on whether or not the OERs you selected are truly right for your course.