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Affordable & Open Educational Resources: Creating OER

Pressbooks published at UB
Last Updated: May 13, 2024 1:51 PM

Sources for Creating OER

E-Textbook Publishing

Online Content

  • OER Commons: Online library of OER.
  • WikiEducator: Collaborative community charged with the planning and developing OER.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

  • Sakai : Open-source LMS offering a feature-rich, technology solution for learning, teaching, research, and collaboration.
  • Etudes: Nonprofit membership organization that fosters the development of open technology by offering an affordable, hosted LMS that supports instruction, research, and collaboration.
  • Moodle: Open-source LMS designed to provide educators, administrators, and learners with a single robust, secure, integrated system to create personalized learning environments.

OER and Accessibility

The mission of the open education community is to expand access to education, which highlights the importance of ensuring that OER used in the classroom follow guidelines for accessibility and affordability. Faculty and instructors have legal and ethical obligations to ensure their course materials are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities and those who face financial challenges. The UB Libraries are committed to these principles, and they coordinate with UB's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to offer support for faculty and instructors in the development of fully accessible courses and course content.

Public Domain and Open Licensing

OER are either in the public domain or free to use, as indicated by a Creative Commons (CC) license. In addition to two public domain licenses (CC0 and Public Domain Mark), CC offers six licenses that make works available under different conditions. Their "Choose a License" tool makes it easy to select the right license for your needs. Learn more about the different types of licenses or best practices for attribution when using CC-licensed materials.

Infographic demonstrating the six licence types of Creative Commons

Image citation: "Creative Commons" by Foter is licensed CC BY-SA 3.0.

Organizations Supporting OER

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER): Consortium of community and technical colleges committed to advancing open educational policy, practices, and resources.

Creative Commons: Non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.

International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE): Organization for online, open, and flexible education.

OER Commons: Online library that allows teachers and others to search and discover open educational resources and other freely available instructional materials.

Open Education Consortium: Community of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education.

Open Education Group: Group that conducts original, rigorous, empirical research on the impact of OER adoption on a range of educational outcomes, and that designs and shares methodological and conceptual frameworks for studying the impact of OER adoption.

Open Education Working Group (of Open Knowledge International): Working group from Open Knowledge International that promotes open educational practices, and OER, open policies, open science, and open data in education.

Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN): Provides support and technical assistance to grantees of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training grant program from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Open Textbook Alliance: Nationwide coalition of student government leaders who are working to bring open textbooks to college campuses.

Open Textbook Network (OTN): Promotes access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. UB member organization.

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC): Global coalition committed to making open the default for research and education. UB member organization.


This web guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons licence BY, attribution only required

In the spirit of the open education community, this guide serves as a model for other institutions to replicate or to adopt and modify for their own purposes.