Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

OER - Open Educational Resources

A curated collection of information, open access resources and tools for use in online courses at Angelo State University

About OER

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are in the public domain or have been released with an open license (often a Creative Commons license). Anyone can freely use, copy, adapt, and reshare OER.

They encompass textbooks, full courses, syllabi, test questions, lecture notes, assignments, software, videos, lab notes, games, and more.

According to, to be considered "open," educational resources must be free and give users the freedom to do the 5 R's:

  1. Retain: make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse: use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise: adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix: combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute: share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

The Affordable College Textbook Act seeks to reduce the cost of textbooks at U.S. colleges and universities by expanding the use of open textbooks (and other open educational resources) that everyone can use, adapt and share freely.

This congressional bill would "expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students."

The bill (H.R.2107A/S.1036) has been introduced in the 113rd, 114th, 115th, and now 116th Congresses.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons licensing is at the heart of the OER movement. CC allows creators to specify more flexible forms of copyright that allow others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of a creator's work.

Creative Commons licensed materials sometimes display clickable icons that indicate the specific licensing terms.

Examples of icons indicating Creative Commons licensing specifics

See the Creative Commons website for more info. For help with selecting the correct license, try Creative Commons' License Chooser.

Visit the Wiki/cc license compatibility web page and use the CC license compatibility remix chart published there to verifty which licenses are compatible and which ones are not.

OER Toolkits

Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (a living guide) (UTA Libraries)

This toolkit is a living document that can help Texas institutions implement course marking solutions. If your state or institution is considering similar policies, this toolkit can help you, too.

TEXAS LEARN OER by Digitex (Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas)

This is a set of ten peer-reviewed, openly licensed, self-paced modules for individuals to gain a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, open education resources.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Define Open Educational Resources
  • Explain the rationale for OER adoption and use
  • Explain the differences between the six currently available Creative Commons licenses
  • Identify repositories and other resources for finding relevant OER<
  • Use tools and criteria to evaluate OER
  • Recognize steps and associated criteria for adapting and creating OER with proper attribution and licensing
  • Create an open educational resource
  • Review the current landscape of OER in Texas Higher Education
  • Recognize different Texas legislation on OER

The OER Starter Kit Workbook by Abbey Elder and Stacy KatzM

A remix of the OER Starter Kit, this resource includes worksheets to help instructors practice the skills they need to confidently find, use, or even create open educational resources.

The book has five sections: Getting Started, Copyright, Finding OER, Teaching with OER, and Creating OER. Each chapter is accompanied with learning objectives and most chapters feature interactive elements and opportunities for readers to engage with the text. Although some chapters contain more advanced content, the Starter kit is primarily intended for users who are entirely new to Open Education.

OER Conferences


Open Education Conference - Annual convening for sharing and learning about open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open education. This dynamic gathering celebrates the core values of open education that strive to realize education ecosystems that are accessible, affordable, equitable and inclusive to everyone, regardless of their background.


Open Texas - The Texas Digital Library (TDL), Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas (DigiTex) jointly organize the annual Open Texas conference to convene librarians, faculty, administrators, and other open education practitioners and advocates in Texas.

Learn More

Open Education (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources SPEC Kit - July 2016 (Association of Research Libraries)
InfoKit on Open Educational Resources (Jisc)
Open Education Information Center (Open Education Consortium); Toolkits
Open Educational Resources Guide (University of Oklahoma Libraries)
Open Educational Resources Guide (University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries)
An Open Education Reader (David Wiley). Wiley also has an excellent blog, Iterating Toward Openness
Open Educational Resources (Wikipedia)