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Open Textbooks

First, keep in mind that open educational resources can take many forms: complete, open, free textbooks; tutorials; chapters; simulations; assignments; classroom practices; etc. So, your search technique might depend on the type of resource that you’re seeking.

Second, remember that you can combine and remix different materials. As you are assessing resources, look for pieces that work (instead of looking for what doesn’t work), and consider combining the pieces that work. A librarian can help you determine whether the materials you choose have any restrictions.

Third, remember to start with your learning objectives - what you want students to know, rather than trying to find a perfect, free replica of your current textbook.

If you are specifically looking for open textbooks:

  1. Try the Open Textbook Library. Search by keyword or browse by subject. Most textbooks have peer reviews on the site.
  2. Try BCcampus Open Textbooks. This repository has peer-reviewed open textbooks, some of which you will also find in the Open Textbook Library. Search by keyword or browse by subject. Some of the texts contain Canada-specific information.
  3. You may also check out the Open Oregon Resources page. This list shows you open and alternative course materials that other Oregon faculty are using (not limited to textbooks).
  4. If you can’t find a perfect textbook, consider incorporating and remixing other sorts of open materials and/or library resources that are free to students.
  5. Remember that if you’re stuck, you can always ask a librarian at your institution.

When you change your course materials, follow your institution or department’s procedures to make the change official. The bookstore and other departments need to know so that they can stock the right materials and let students know about no-cost and low-cost course materials that are in use.