Open Educational Resources

"OER 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."  - The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Following are a few of the common OER sites. If you are considering new curriculum materials for your course/department, take time to review some of the open source options to see how they might fit your needs.

The Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC) is a grassroots initiative among Minnesota school districts to create a comprehensive collection of digital open education resources (OER). Over 200 districts have joined the project, with the goal to create digital course work aligned to Minnesota standards for each of the four core subject areas – Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Social Studies –  for grades 3-12. See the Course Status list for updates on course development. Forest Lake Area Schools is a member of MPCC. Contact the Teaching & Learning department with questions about accessing course materials.

CK-12 is an online educational content site sponsored by the CK-12 Foundation, a nonprofit that desires to increase worldwide K-12 access to high-quality STEM content. CK-12’s main offering is a collection of free digital textbooks (called “Flexbooks”) for high school age students, particularly on topics in science, engineering and math. CK-12 provides an integrated set of tools for learning: digital textbooks, concept-based learning, SAT prep, and interactive Algebra curriculum (with additional math and science subjects in progress). All products can be customized to match the needs of the student, educator, or school.

Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. Note that these texts are likely for Advanced Placement or other Advanced courses.

OER Commons is a dynamic digital library and network. Explore open education resources and join our network of educators dedicated to curriculum improvement. Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning.

OCW is a free and open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum. That's every MIT department and degree program, and ranging from the introductory to the most advanced graduate level. Each OCW course includes a syllabus, some instructional material (such as lecture notes or a reading list), and some learning activities (such as assignments or exams). Many courses also have complete video lectures, free online textbooks, and faculty teaching insights. While some OCW content is custom-created for online use, most of it comes straight from the MIT classroom.

OpenStax CNX (formerly known as Connexions) is a dynamic non-profit digital ecosystem serving millions of users per month in the delivery of educational content to improve learning outcomes. There are tens of thousands of learning objects, called pages, that are organized into thousands of textbook-style books in a host of disciplines, all easily accessible online and downloadable to almost any device, anywhere, anytime.

Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 90 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as our members.