With a number of different organisations offering a plethora of OER content, the sheer amount of choice can often be overwhelming. The OER Commons alone “provides a single point of access for over 30,000 items.” OER can also come in many forms: complete courses, single modules, textbooks, or even podcasts and videos. So where is the best place to start?
In the UK, several universities publish open educational resources to their own platforms, such as UCL and the University of Leicester. These initiatives are often backed by the Higher Education Academy/JISC Open Educational Resources programme. Both HEA and JISC are useful organisations to call upon if you find yourself stuck.
For a more extensive catalogue, MERLOT is a fully fledged community with over 150,000 members from all across the world that can create, submit, and access materials. MERLOT also has several editorial boards that peer review content to ensure OER materials available from the site are legitimate and correct.
Many publishers also create OER materials. OpenStax is a first-class publisher of open source textbooks that are all written by experts in their chosen field and undergo a rigorous peer review process. They are continually adding content to ensure students across the world have access to the learning materials they need.
OpenStax textbooks are also extremely easy to adapt and remix within VitalSource Studio®. This functionality allows content to be adapted to suit varied international curricula, as well as producing accessible, reflowable content. We’ll discuss other advantages of adapting and remixing OER content in a future post.