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Finding Free and Open Resources: Module 5

Finding Open Educational Resources


Open Educational Resources are diverse and hosted in many different places. Consequentially not all OER are easy to find, as they are not all aggregated in one central location under the same standards. This module presents some options to get you started on your search.

If you are a member of a USG institution and would like assistance finding these resources, your institution’s librarians can help. Every USG institution has an Affordable Learning Georgia Library Coordinator, and they are ready to help USG faculty find what they need for their courses.

This module covers the following OER locations and discovery methods:

ALG Top 100 Enrolled Undergraduate Courses List
MERLOT
Open Textbook Collections
Open Courseware
Open Access Journal Articles

ALG Top 100 Enrolled Undergraduate Courses List

In order to maximize impact on the affordability of course materials in the USG, Affordable Learning Georgia has gathered enrollment data throughout the USG to determine the most-enrolled undergraduate courses. When an OER implementation occurs in one of these courses within our Textbook Transformation Grants, eCore, or other ALG-related groups, ALG will add the resources previously used to that course within the list. This is one easy way to find out what other individuals or groups have been using on their USG campuses.

You can access the list here:

ALG Top 100 Enrolled Undergraduate Courses List

MERLOT

MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning & Online Teaching) is a program of the California State University system. MERLOT provides a searchable database of links to open content, including over 2500 open textbooks, with information about each resource, a peer review system for each major discipline, and a Content Builder that allows faculty to author and share their own materials easily.

Because the amount of content searchable in MERLOT is relatively vast, first-time searchers can be frustrated with their first set of results. Here are some ways to successfully browse and search through MERLOT:

Searching for Content Related to a Commercial Textbook

Enter the ISBN of a book below to find related open course materials:

Searching for Content Related to a Topic

Enter keywords below to find related open course materials to a topic:

Browse by Subject

MERLOT has a categorization for each of its major disciplines, so you can browse the open textbooks available within one discipline by clicking on one of the links below. Because these lists are large, you may want to sort the list by the type of material (including Open Textbooks). To do this, click on “Material Types” on the left side of the page and check each type that you want to include.

Browse MERLOT Open Textbooks Only

For your convenience, a second set of links are provided below that filter by open textbooks only:

Open Textbook Collections

If you would like to browse a more focused collection of high-quality open textbooks, check out the following sites:

Open Courseware

Many institutions offer entire web-based courses or course supplements packaged together as Open Courseware:

Open Access Journal Articles

Along with open courses and textbooks, there are many research-focused scholarly publications that are open and freely available to the public. Within the field of scholarly journal publishing, this practice is called Open Access (OA). Listed below are some of the most significant and large open access journal collections online.

Reflection


1. In 2014, the Babson Survey Research Group found that the three biggest deterrents to faculty for using OER all had to do with how hard it was to find them. They found the same in 2016. When you used these resources, did you find what you were looking for? What would you do differently if you designed an OER website?

Proceed to Module 6