As textbooks in the Course Reserves room at the library are inaccessible due to Covid-19, check out potential open textbooks to be adopted for your courses in OER by Discipline Resource Guide : Concordia University.
OER can be found in many reporitories and platforms created and maintined by various institutions/organizations around the world. Generally, options for online viewing, downloading, or on-demand low-cost printing are available. Please note, there is some overlap between the collections.
Open textbook collections
Funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, this is a major collection in Canada since 2012 and features open textbooks created or adapted by B.C. faculty. Many of them meet accessibility requirements and/or include supplementary materials (e.g. quizzes, text banks, slides, video, etc.).
Maintained by Rice University, the open textbooks in this collection are written by professional content developers, with a focus on introductory courses for the highest enrollment degree programs at colleges and universities in the U.S.
Supported by the University of Minnesota and the Open Textbook Network, this is a growing collection of open textbooks that are affiliated with a higher education institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. Many have been reviewed by faculty from Open Textbook Network member institutions.
Funded by the Government of Ontario, this collection features textbooks that map to the top enrolled subjects in Ontario. Some textbooks are revised Canadian editions, while many include faculty reviews or links to supplementary resources (e.g. quizzes, text banks, slides, video, etc.).
Created by ISKME (the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education), this is an aggregator of OER from a growing list of content providers, covering a wide range of education level from K12, colleges/universities, to career/vocational.
Maintained by the California State University System, this collection has over 40,000 OER of all types including open textbooks, videos, assignments, quizzes, and full online courses. The content is contributed and used by an international education community.
Based in George Mason University, this tool performs a simultaneous search across different sources of open educational materials. Other than major OER repositories, it also searches sites such as HathiTrust where some OER may be found.
Developed by the State University of New York (SUNY) system, OASIS stands for Openly Available Sources Integrated Search, and it searches across many sources with open content.
What about quality?
Mechanisms have been put in place on various platforms to ensure the quality of OER. Here are some examples:
- BCcampus - Review an Open Textbook: A selection process is set up to seek qualified textbook reviewers based on their teaching experience in the subject.
- MERLOT Peer Review Information and Process: Over 20 editorial boards, each run by an editor and includes a group of peer reviewers. Each editor triages each material in their discipline and assigns it to a reviewer in their discipline.
- OpenStax FAQ: Open textbooks are written by professional content developers who are experts in their fields. They meet standard scope and sequence requirements. They undergo a rigorous peer review process. A list of contributors will be shown when clicking on each book.
- Open Textbook Library FAQs: Reviewers are faculty from a variety of colleges and universities. Around 60% of books in the Open Textbook Library have been reviewed. In addition, most open textbooks are reviewed during production, using systems implemented by the authors and publishers.