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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Page history last edited by Clare Gormley 5 years, 5 months ago

Home: eLearning Toolkit


Open Educational Resources (OERs) are free educational resources and materials (such as courseware, multimedia objects and e-Textbooks) that can be used and/or repurposed by anyone who follows the licensing instructions. OERs can be accessed from broad content repositories and direct from several top universities. The major advantage of using OERs in your content is the massive amount of time they can potentially save on course development. Although it can take time to find the right resource, once you become acquainted with the most relevant of the growing range of OER sources out there, your searches should become more fruitful. Bookmark those sources you feel are particularly worthwhile and of course, add new suggestions to the wiki. You'll find some practical tips on finding video, audio and images in OERs here.


Top Picks for IT Online OERs

Feel free to comment on this list. To start, we recommend that you download the Open Attribute browser addin so you can quickly identify Creative Commons (CC) content by its distinctive icon   in the address bar.


  1. YouTube: multiple videos on software related topics, not all CC. Recommend cross checking search terms against this custom OCW+OER Google search engine, which seems to generate good quality YouTube results.
  2. Connexions: primarily text-based content (although some nice, simple animations within that).
  3. MIT Open CourseWare: highly-navigable site that is certainly trustworthy for IT/software related subjects. CC course materials include lecture notes, simple lecture-based video, and activities/assignments such as labs, projects and exams.
  4.  iTunes U: Very current range of content from leading universities, not all CC but certainly worth investigating.
  5. MERLOT: Nice clear rating system, which could be helpful for evaluating materials and this site makes it easy to select particular media types. Perhaps not as much choice for IT subjects or as up to date as would be ideal.
  6. Slideshare: good range of presentations on IT subjects. Licensing rights vary, sometimes “all rights reserved” meaning publication permission must be sought from the author. 


Higher Education OER Repositories

  • NUI Galway ARAN.  
  • MERLOT International, peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials, specifically for HE.
  • iTunes U Area on iTunes where educational institutions can share media-rich content. iTunes U houses over 350,000 resources from a variety of disciplines.
  • Multiple OER repositories can be searched using The Gateway and Google Meta Search engines.  And of course, you'll find lots of OERs on YouTube
  • MIT Open Courseware   Provides free, searchable access to MIT’s course materials for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.
  • OpenLearn Open University  Provides free access to the Open University’s course materials.
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Open Learning Initiative (OLI)   A collection of openly available and free online courses and course materials from CMU.
  • Rice University Connexions  Modules are designed to either be used on their own, or can be combined with others to create a course textbook.
  • Leeds Met  All resources available for reuse under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales) licence. 
  • University of Southampton EdShare   An institutional resource for collaboration and sharing of materials used in teaching and learning.
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium  A global collaboration of higher education institutions creating a "broad and deep body of open educational contentl".



  • InTech Open Access book publisher with over 800 books on Science, Technology & Medicine. 
  • Google Books  Comprehensive collection of full-text books 
  • Open Textbook List  A current list of multiple open textbook sources.   
  • Internet Archive Free books and much more - claims to be world's biggest collection 


Note that you can get further information on OER initiatives globally from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.  

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