Are you feeling stuck? See below for help with some common pain points. 

Textbook choices are made at the department level

It can be challenging to use open educational resources if you aren’t able to choose your own course materials. Here are some ways you can get started:

  • Get involved with the OER and textbook affordability initiatives on your campus. Reach out to the OER contact at your institution (see "Campus-Specific Help" in the left-hand menu). If there are upcoming programs or workshops, invite colleagues in your department to join you in attending. 
  • Encourage your coworkers to consider at least one open textbook the next time your department goes through the textbook adoption process. 
  • Sometimes it’s possible for instructors to run an OER pilot class to try out new materials. Check with your course lead and/or department head to see if this could be an option at your institution. This can also give you evidence and experience to take to your department’s textbook adoption meetings.

When an entire department or multi-section course moves to OER together, the student savings impact can be huge. Taking the time to gain buy-in will be worth it. 

I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work/time this takes

It’s important to be realistic about the amount of time and work it will take to successfully implement OER in your class, especially if you will be revising, remixing, or creating materials. Before you get started, you may want to schedule a consultation with your campus OER contact to get their help finding materials on your subject. Your OER campus contact can also connect you to support services, workshops, grants, and other opportunities that are available at your institution and across the state. If you feel stuck, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here for you; you can do this!

I need ideas on how to start small

There are two simple ways to test the waters without undertaking an entire course redesign process. 

  1. Openly licensed course materials don't have to be a whole textbook - they can also be as small as a chart, infographic, or assignment. Consider incorporating just one openly licensed element into your existing course to get started. Many OER repositories have an advanced search feature that allows you to refine your search by material type. You can learn more about searching for OER (see "Search for Open Content" in the left-hand menu) or contact your OER campus contact for help.
  2. Another option for getting started is to create your own OER by adding an open license to your original work. Have you created your own activity, worksheet, or learning object from scratch? You can turn it into an OER by adding a Creative Commons license and sharing it - either locally, with professional associations, or in an OER repository.

Read faculty success stories!


Remixed image (text added) by Meggie Wright (CC BY). Original image Kitten! by Clara S. is used under a CC BY 2.0 license.