There is a sharp increase in the number of course materials (textbooks, articles, images, etc.) that are only available as a paid subscription or as individually licensed digital content. This move to subscriptions and licenses has created challenges for educators looking to share content with students in the same ways they have in the past and has led to a rise in the costs of learning materials for students.
Open educational resources (OERs) offer an alternative as they provide faculty with more flexibility to copy, distribute, and adapt course materials that can be accessed by students at zero cost. OERs come with some form of open licensing, or they are no longer copyright protected.
Creative Commons (CC) is the most popular form of open licensing. CC licenses do not mandate the creator relinquish their copyright. These licenses allow creators to set the terms for how their work is used. For example, some licenses allow for commercial use, and some do not allow the work to be adapted or built upon.
Material in the Public Domain (currently 50 years after the death of the creator) is no longer protected by copyright and can be used and repurposed without requesting any type of permission.
For more details on creating, adapting, and adopting OERs, visit the OER Toolkit from College Libraries Ontario’s Learning Portal.
Textbooks and Course Materials
- eCampus Ontario Open Textbook Library
- OASIS Open Textbooks
- Open Textbook Library
Open Access Journal and Books
- Directory of Open Access Journals
- ScienceDirect: Open Access Journals
- Elsevier: Open Access Journals
- Oxford Journals: Open Access Articles
- Wiley: Open Access Journals
- OASIS: Open Access Books
- MIT Sloan School of Management Case studies
- Society of Human Resources Management
- Toronto Metropolitan University: The Ethical Leadership Case Study Collection
- University of British Columbia Case Studies
- The Case Centre: Browsable list of sources for free case studies
Learning Objects & Courseware
Public Domain Publications
Museums and Galleries