Finding and Using Free Learning Materials

Last revised: 02/05/2018 by dsm.  


This article discusses FREE Open Educational Resources (OERs), why they are important, and how faculty can find and use OERs in their online and face to face classrooms.




What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Open educational resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge”. Source: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Why Should I Consider Using OERs?

Do you remember that dreadful feeling you had as a student when you stacked up your giant pile of textbooks at the college bookstore register awaiting your final tally for the upcoming semester? According to the National Association of College Stores, the average price of just one new college textbook was $79 in 2013.  The College Board suggests students budget between $1,225 and $1,328 a year for books and supplies (Bloomberg Business online article). Many professors and universities (including UConn) are looking at better ways to make college materials more affordable to students.  The UConn Library has a guide dedicated to OER.

To see some of the reasons for considering going “open”, watch the following video from Blink Tower:

Where Can I Find High Quality OERs?

Our UConn Library promotes using “open” resources and maintains an OER Lib Guide for Open Textbooks to help you navigate open educational resources and provide you with tips for reviewing OERs for quality.

For more information visit: 
  • UConn Libraries Open Educational Resources Class Guide.  Free/affordable resources for teaching and learning. Retrieved from on July 10, 2015.
  • Creative Commons / Education (website). Open Educational Resources, Our Projects, Get Involved. Retrieved from on July 14, 2015.


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