Open Educational Resources (OER)

The Texas Board of Higher Education defines open educational resources (OER) as “a teaching, learning, or research resource that is in the public domain or has been released under an intellectual property license that permits the free use, adaptation, and redistribution of the resource by any person”. OERs can range from textbooks, classroom management tools, syllabi, question and answer test banks, audio/visual recording of lectures, or lecture handouts. With the cost of higher education continuing, students are struggling to afford textbooks and other course materials. Florida Virtual Campus surveyed over 21,000 students. They found that 64% of students didn’t purchase the required textbook and 22% dropped the course entirely because they couldn’t afford the materials.

OERs are freely available online to be used, remixed, and redistributed by teachers, students, and universities. Students tend to perform just as well of not better in classes that use open resources according to a study by Lane Fischer, John Hilton, Jared Robinson, and David Wiley. Therefore, OERs represent a viable, more affordable alternative for many courses. We also encourage faculty to use library subject guides for coursework. While they are not technically open, using resources that the library already has access can help curb costs for students. The library can place materials on reserve to ensure students have access.

If you have questions about OERs, please contact the library at [email protected] or 254-968-9249

This page contains links to web sites outside of Tarleton. Tarleton has no control over, and is not responsible for, the content found on external sites.

Tarleton OER

  • Tarleton OER Guide for Faculty – Tarleton librarians and instructional designers worked together to create a course specific guide for faculty members. While this guide is not comprehensive, it seeks to help faculty searching for OERs and increase rates of adoption. The guide is available to anyone through Canvas Commons.
  • Tarleton OER Course List for Students – Listing of Tarleton classes utilizing open educational resources as course materials. Updated for each semester. Instructions for registration included.

OpenStax Institutional Partner Program

Tarleton is participating in OpenStax’s Institutional Partner Program, joining a cohort of colleges and universities advocating for the use of affordable, open educational resources. Tarleton was chosen to join the 2020-21 cohort of partner schools alongside eleven other colleges from around the country.

We’re excited to be able to bring our faculty more information, support, and resources around OER use and adoption. We encourage you to take a look, and try exploring OER resources for your subject area! Since we’re a part of their partner network, OpenStax is offering their OpenStax Tutor courseware for free to all Tarleton students.

About OER

These are resources intended to help faculty better understand how to create, evaluate, remix, and adopt OERs. These resources also provide information on ensuring the accessibility of open resources.

Tarleton Faculty Created OER

Thanks to funds donated from the Office of the Provost, the Center for Instructional Innovation and Tarleton Libraries have been able to offer a grant to faculty to create or adopt an OER. Faculty members from COLFA, COB, College of Engineering, and COEHD have all been early adopters of OER.

  • Learning Statistics with JASP – Dr. Tom Faulkenberry with the Department of Psychological Sciences created an OER for an open source statistical software package.

If you have created an open educational resource at Tarleton, please email the Scholarly Communication Librarian.

Low Cost Homework and Classroom Management Tools

  • Edfinity – can be paired with open or commercial textbooks. This tool provides randomized questions with personalized feedback, performance analytics and can be used collaboratively with peers. Users can create their own course or use ready to go homework for algebra, advanced mathematics, computer science, and physics.
  • Lumen Learning – provides course and homework management specifically for OER resources. The customizable courses provide students with immediate feedback and can be integrated with Canvas. Courses are available in business, humanities, and STEM courses.
  • Lyryx – online homework management with instructive grading explanation, course statistics, and a fully customizable gradebook. The subjects available are business, accounting, economics, and mathematics.
  • Perusall: A collaborative e-book and PDF reader – allows instructors to upload OER or PDFs, then assign course readings and interact with students as they read and annotate the text. Excellent for reading intense classes such as English, government, history, or philosophy classes.
  • Rover – affordable online math homework with step-level feedback. This resource pairs with the OpenStax Algebra, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and College Algebra
  • OpenStax Tutor – Platform provides digital reading, personalized homework, a library of thousands of assessments, and LMS integration capability and works well for online, hybrid, and in-person courses. The platform works with OpenStax textbooks for the following subjects: anatomy/physiology, biology, physics, psychology, sociology, and entrepreneurship.

General OER

  • BC Open Campus – create, use, browse for OERs. Includes several guides and toolkits on getting started with OER
  • LibreTexts – cooperative effort to develop online platform for the construction, customization and dissemination of OER
  • Merlot – curated online learning materials and content creation tools 
  • Open Oregon – openly licensed, high quality textbooks on a variety of subjects for community colleges and universities
  • OERTEX – curated list of OER e-textbooks and materials used frequently by Texas institutions of higher education and to support the creation and customization of resources. It is a partnership between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), made possible by an appropriation from the Texas Legislature.

Business OER

  • OER Commons Business & Communication – course materials such as lecture notes, slide presentations, and discussion prompts for public relations, management, communication, and finance topics.
  • OpenStax Business – peer reviewed textbooks with ancillary teaching supplements and resources. Textbooks often come up Canvas Commons modules.
  • OTN Business – business, marketing, human resources, marketing, project management and more. Many of their books have been peer reviewed.
  • Sage Research Methods Marketing Discipline – While not an open resource, the library provides access to this database which contains focus group examples, big data analysis, and marketing research tools. Includes practice datasets, case studies, exercises and discussion prompts.
  • Sage Research Methods Business Management Discipline – While not an open resource, the library provides access to the database which contains case studies, instructional videos and handbooks. Includes practice datasets, exercises and discussion prompts.
  • Teaching Commons Business – introductory business topics and specialized resources on strategy, law, finance, and technology.

Social Sciences related OER

  • LibreTexts – project from the Open Textbook Pilot Project and UC Davis. Courses are available on art, humanities, social sciences and languages.
  • NOBA – instructional modules for numerous psychology topics along with discussion questions. Topics include disorders, social, cognitive, developmental and personality.
  • OpenStax Social Sciences – peer reviewed textbooks with ancillary teaching supplements and resources. Textbooks includeAmerican Government, Principles of Economics, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, and Sociology, and often come with Canvas Commons modules
  • OTN Social Sciences – OERs on education, culture, statistics, lifespan, social issues, and general topics within psychology and sociology. Many of their books have been peer reviewed.
  • Sage Research Methods Psychology Discipline – While not an open resource, the library provides access to this database which contains resources on statistical data analysis, methodology, instructional videos, software guides, and discussion questions.
  • Teaching Commons Social Sciences – variety of subtopics within psychology, sociology and other social science topics.

Government resources

  • – access to over 200,000 datasets from federal agencies, states, and cities. This site provides free access to datasets regarding the environment, commerce, socioeconomics, health, finance, and agriculture.
  • Library of Congress Digital Collections – open access to numerous historical, geographical and cultural resources. The digital collections contain resources on art, history, military, cartography, government and even music.
  • National Security Archives – The Freedom of Information Act protects and expands public access to government information, international affairs, investigative journalism and declassified government reports.
  • – provides simultaneously searching of all government websites. The website provides links to government agencies, resources and information. Many U.S. agencies create specialized educational content for their respective fields. Government reports and research can also be found through this site.


Fine Arts and Languages

  • Art Images for College Teaching – University of Michigan provides access to historical and visual artistic works.
  • Creative Commons Collection – museums photographs, illustrations and digitized works under a license that allows for the free sharing and redistribution of their images.
  • HathiTrust – partnership of academic institutions that offers millions of digitized titles.
  • Project Gutenberg – books from the public domain are available to read in HTML, PDF, or Kindle e-book.
  • TeachingCommons Arts – resources on a variety of topics including writing, literature, music, languages, and cultural studies.