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Open Education Resources (OER): Searching

An OER guide for CDU staff and students

 File:OER-Logo.jpg - Wikimedia Commons    File:Global Open Educational Resources Logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Where to start your search for OER

For an initial search of any OER content, we recommend you start with Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) which has broad, real-time search capabilities. It will enable simultaneous searches across 21 different sources of open educational materials, including well-known OER repositories such as OER Commons, MERLOT, and OpenStax, and also sites such as HathiTrust, DPLA, Internet Archive and NYPL Digital Collections.

For an initial search of OER textbooks, we recommend starting with the top five major textbook platforms: MERLOT, Open Textbook Library, OpenStax, OASIS, and BC Open Textbook Project.

Finding OER

Finding and reusing OER

  1. Need for a resource
    Decide what you need and the format required.  It could be an image, video, interactive, textbook, lecture slides, lesson plans or an assessment activity.
  2. Search
    Use the different Creative Commons search tools and resources to find what you need.  Check the CC license to see how you can use the resource.
  3. Adapt
    If the CC license permits, edit the resource to suit your particular needs. 
  4. Reuse
    Use the resource in your learning materials.  Don't forget to add attribution.
  5. Share
    Share the resource with others.  Include the resource on OER repositories.

The website Creative Commons Search offers a convenient way to search for content provided by independent organisations. You can limit to the type of resource you are searching for example YouTube or Google Images. Be aware that the results displayed may not always be under a CC license. You should always verify the CC license before using the content.


Where to find OERs

Open Educational Resources (OER): Repositories and Collections


Open Educational Resources (OER): Where to find Videos and Images

The first video below shows how to find creative commons videos on YouTube.

The second video highlights several online sites that feature OER images and videos that are freely available.

Evaluating OERs - CRAAP Test

The CRAAP test can help you evaluate Open Educational Resources (OERs).

CRAAP stands for:






Watch the video below to learn more about using the CRAAP Test to evaluate sources of information.

Open Textbooks Review Criteria

Library Home
The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
Content Accuracy
Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.
Grammatical Errors
The text contains no grammatical errors.
Cultural Relevance

Evaluating OERs Checklist

Use this simple checklist, produced by The University of Queensland Library, to quickly decide whether the OER is appropriate for your purposes. OERs will need to be referenced like any other source of information.

Checklist Yes No
Licensed for open use    
CC license that allows for educational reuse    
CC license allows for modification and adaption    
Public Domain    
Aligned with course objectives    
Appropriately current    
Suitable for your level    
Creator is identified    
Creator is reputable    
Accurate content    
Audio, videos, images are of high quality    
Ease of use    
Clear and easy to understand    
Interface easy to navigate    
Audio and video resources have a transcript or subtitles    
Alternative formats are available if required (as Word document or PDF)    

 The Open educational resources (OER) guide by the University of Queensland Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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