Open Resources for Teaching, Learning and Innovation

This page provides links to (i) sites with materials designed specifically for use in educational programs (OER) and (ii) other sites that have text, video, images, and audio that can be incorporated into class materials, research projects, and publications with few or no copyright or licensing restrictions. We hope that these resources will guide you to finding and using open materials that will enhance learning and innovation in your classroom. To learn more about the value of using open resources for teaching and learning click here.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

The Hewlitt Foundation, an early and ongoing funder of Open Educational Resources, defines OER as "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

The links below are to materials designed specifically for teaching and learning.

  • OER Commons indexes a wide variety of openly licensed educational materials, including a collection of higher education materials by subject here. You can also use the Advanced Search feature to locate higher education materials - select College or Graduate under "All Grade Levels" and add your search criteria. Conditions of use varies among the different resources in OER Commons.
  • MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) has tens of thousands of learning modules, tutorials, readings, videos, textbooks, etc., all of which are available (check licensing) for educational use. Materials are available to browse or search.
  • Saylor Academy offers nearly 100 full-length courses at the college and professional levels. Materials are "curated from a trove of free and open online resources by expert educators."
  • The OpenStax CNX Library, maintained by Rice University, is a collection of tens of thousands of freely available learning objects covering a variety of disciplines. To find materials, either browse by subject or try the advanced search feature.
  • Several leading research universities have collections of OER created by the university's faculty:
    • Carnegie Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative aims to support better learning and instruction with high-quality, scientifically-based, classroom-tested online courses and materials that are openly and freely available. 
    • MIT OpenCourseware publishes course materials online and makes them freely available.
    • Open Yale Courses has lectures and course materials on "a wide range of timely and timeless topics taught by Yale professors, each with a unique perspective and an individual interpretation of a particular field of study."


  • Open Textbook Library is a collection of peer-reviewed textbooks from the University of Minnesota.
  • OpenStax is a collection of peer-reviewed textbooks from Rice University.
  • College Open Textbooks is a consortium dedicated to promoting open textbook use for higher education. This site has lists of textbooks by subject, a peer review system, and information about open textbooks.

Other Open Materials for Teaching and Learning

In addition to materials specifically created for educational purposes, there are many open resources that can be used to supplement textbooks, or you can create your own course materials by combining freely available materials into your own multimedia "textbook." Many of the materials in this section are in the public domain or licensed for reuse, while others are freely available to view but may not be copied, adapted, or remixed without permission of the author.




Books and Journals

  • Visit the Scholarly Works section of our Open Access page for a list of sites for books and journal articles

Other Sites

  • Wikipedia articles are licensed to the public under one or several open licenses. Details are set out at the bottom of each page.
  • searches materials from across the entire federal government. Most government works are in the public domain and have no restrictions on reuse.
  • searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites to provide users with access to federal science information. A list of content providers is here.
  • CC Search offers access to search services for images, music, video, and web pages, including Flickr, YouTube, and SoundCloud. 
  • The Public Domain Review has a guide for people interested in exploring works which have entered the public domain.