Finding Open Educational Resources

Main Content

OER Repositories  

There are many different places used to host OER, from institutional repositories to grant-funded websites.  

Explore these repositories:

  • eCampusOntario Open Library  
    The curated collection aligns with top subject areas in post-secondary education and features reviews from experts and educators across Canada. 
  • B.C. Open Collection by BCcampus  
    Curated collection of open textbooks in subjects including Writing, Business, Health, Sciences, and Social Sciences. 
  • OER Commons  
    OER Commons is a dynamic digital library and network.  
  • MERLOT  
    MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community. Use the filters to limit to CC licensed content. 
  • Skills common
    Open Educational material focused on the trades. The material is primarily out of US Community and technical colleges. 
  • OpenStax  
    OpenStax is a collection of high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks that are free online and low cost in print and backed by additional learning resources. Simple to adopt, free to use. 

    Searching for OER


    1. Look at the table of contents in commercial textbooks for inspiration.
    2. Look for smaller pieces of content (topics, chapters, ancillary materials, etc.).  
    3. OER repositories are often multidisciplinary, and resources come in a variety of types and formats.
    4. If searching by keyword, start with broader concepts and then narrow down using discipline-specific terms and/or limiters available on the platform.
    5. Use Boolean Operators (the words “and,” “or” and “not” can boost the power of your search). Check out the “Adopting a Savvy Search System” in the Ontario Extend “Curator” module for more information.
    6. Use the repository filters (i.e. filter for licence and/or material type, etc.). Remember though that not all repositories are organized the same way: some offer filters and reviews to help refine search results, while others do not have these features.  
    7. Some repositories include resources that are “free” but not necessarily “open”, therefore take the time to verify the copyright or licence terms of each item to confirm if it is an OER.
    8. Pay attention to the open licence (remember, you can always ask for permissions beyond the licence).  
    9. Keep track of information. Some OER’s are catalogued in more than one repository so there may be duplication.
    10. If you can’t find an OER in the repositories, try searching Google! If available, use the “advanced search” function.
    11. May not find an exact replacement for a commercial resource: some adaptations and using more than one OER may be required.
    12.  Ask a librarian and/or the person responsible for OER at your institution to help!  
    13. Shop around and keep coming back! There is no “one-stop shop” for OER. Access different repositories (and continue checking because they are always growing and being updated).  
    Subject Specific Repositories

    Repositories can contain a collection of learning items that support instruction, including:

    1. Open textbooks  
    2. Lesson plans  
    3. Quizzes and test banks
    4. Videos, animations, simulations
    5. Class handouts  
    6. Interactive activities and tools (apps, for instance)  
    7. PowerPoint presentations  

    Chem Collective: Chemistry​

    Learn Chem E: Chemical Engineering​

    Noba Project Psychology Modules: Psychology​

    Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL): Languages​

    Open Geography Education: Geography​

    Engineering Technology Simulations: Engineering, Physics​

    PhET Simulations: Physics, Physical science, Geology, Chemistry​

    SkillsCommons: Career & Technical Education (CTE)​

    Green Tea Press Textbooks: Computer Science, Programming ​

    (Bayes, Python, MATLAB, Java, DSP)​

    MIT OpenCourseWare (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)​

    Computer Science OER Finding Aid (

    CC-licensed Media Sources

    CC Search: A federated search tool for finding content available under a CC license​.

    Digital Public Library of America: Public domain images, videos, recordings, and texts​.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art: High-quality open images from the Met​.

    Pexels: & Unsplash: Public domain and CC-licensed​ photographs and stock images​.

    Wikimedia Commons: Public domain and CC-licensed images ​and figures​.

    Youtube: Videos. Use the Advanced Search/CC license option to see open content​.

    Free Music Archive: Public domain and CC-licensed music and ​sound bytes​.

    Multimedia resources for use and integration into teaching and learning.

    University of British Columbia's Aggregated List of Image Sources - Offers a comprehensive list of image collections that are either in the Public Domain or Creative Commons licensed.

    Creative Commons Image Search - Users can search across several repositories, including YouTube, Google, SoundCloud, and more, for CC licensed still images, music, and videos.​

    Flickr Images - Browse or search through Flickr’s images under each type of CC license.

    Getty Institute Open Images - Searchable database of Creative Commons licensed images under Getty’s Open Content Program.​

    TED Talks - TED’s videos are all Creative Commons licensed, unless otherwise indicated. (CC BY-NC-ND)​

    YouTube – Videos with a CC license can be found through Advanced Search options​.

    Nappy | Beautifully Diverse Stock Photos - Beautiful photos of Black and Brown people, for free