Open Education Info Center

Students: What are Open Educational Resources?

Whether you are a student looking for study materials to supplement your current course or a self-learner looking for courseware just for fun, this primer into using Open Educational Resources will help you to explore and use OERs effectively.

What are Open Educational Resources?

If you think of it as mere “free courses”, start with this introductory page for those new to OER:  OER, What’s that?  A formal definition as is provided by UNESCO

If you know what OER is (and passed that novice stage), and you would like to know more about OER and other forms of openness, look here.

Where can I find OER?

Open Education Consortium offers a course search in partnership with MERLOT. You can search for courses from Open Education Consortium member institutions and also from peer reviewed materials from MERLOT at You can also find a list of some other OER search engines here and here.

What are the terms of use?

So you know it’s free, but there is more to this license that lets you use things for free. Here’s a start to what you need to know about Creative Commons license. Here’s a video to go with it.

Where can I get hard copies of OER?

If your professor is using an open textbook, he or she will let you know where you can print it. Some use university bookstores for print services. is one of the online print shops where you can print open textbooks, but look for an option in your region.

Can I create OER based on the classes I am taking?

Some students have asked for permission from their professors to create OER from a course they are taking. Talk to your professor about the license terms, format and where to upload the contents. dScribe from Open.Michigan has a program for graduate students who create OER.