As the library aims to develop student mastery of information, data, and digital fluencies, and critical thinking skills, we promote the creation and practices surrounding open education that increase accessibility to higher education.

Information about this Service

There is a national growing movement surrounding open educational resources and open pedagogical practices that decrease overall student expenses by adopting course materials that are free or low cost. Furthermore, we can enhance student learning by inviting them to participate as knowledge creators for the greater good, surrounding key issues within standard coursework.

The River Campus Libraries offer a series of resources and services where instructors and students can learn more about the movement, engage in the available materials, and take action by rethinking standard ways to deliver and participate in their coursework.

Quick links


What does it mean to be Open?

Open can mean many things—open access, open source, open educational resources (OER), and open pedagogy—and all are distinct forms of open content. The libraries’ Open Scholarship Libguide, Sustainable Scholarship webpage, and these introductory presentations on OER,  Open Pedagogy, and Open Access Publishing will help you begin exploring.

The 5 Rs and Creative Commons licenses are key to understanding OER, and with a deeper dive, these following resources can help place context to finding, evaluating, modifying, and engaging with OER:




Videos from the Open Education series

Understanding Open Educational Resources

Related materials

Finding and Evaluating Open Educational Resources

Related materials

Understanding Creative Commons (CC) Licenses

Related materials

How and Why We Created Open Pedagogy Approaches

Related materials

Open Pedagogy Approaches Book Discussion

Related materials

Wikipedia as a Prime Open Educational Resource

Orienting to OER and Open Pedagogy

Renewable Assignment Design

Related materials — Katz & Van Allen, Holz & Garcia

Assessment Strategies with OER and Open Pedagogy

Related materials — ppt, podcasts (Hutton, Di Valentino)

OER in the Humanities

OER in the Sciences

Related materials

Library as Key Partner in Open Pedagogy (part 1)

Related materials — Taylor, Keith

Library as Key Partner in Open Pedagogy (part 2)

Related materials — Malloy & Siddiqui / Davies Hoffman & Spence


Learn how others are going Open

Interested in seeing models of how OER and Open Pedagogy work in a college classroom?

There are numerous OER repositories that can be helpful to you. For example:

Interdisciplinary Repositories

  • OER Commons - Most helpful for K-12 teachers, can search/filter by standards, subject areas and education level
  • MERLOTCurated referatory of nearly 100,000 OER, with a wide range of material type and education level (pre-K through professional)
  • OASIS - User-friendly referatory for college level OER, including interactive simulations, primary sources and more
  • Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) - A federated search for OER content that spans many OER repositories as well as primary source collections

Textbook Repositories

  • OpenStax - Peer-reviewed and includes textbooks suitable mostly for high schools and undergraduate 100 level courses, over 40 textbooks available.
  • LibreTexts - Peer-reviewed, interactive and easily editable and embeddable into LMS systems, over 300 textbooks available.
  • Open Textbook Library - Peer-reviewed, suitable for upper level undergraduate or graduate level courses, over 800 textbooks available.

Primary Source Collections

  • Project Gutenberg - Over 600,000 ebooks mostly in the public domain, great for compiling an anthology
  • HathiTrust - A partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. Log in with UR credentials to access the full text.
  • Internet Archive - A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

Disciplinary or Multimedia Repositories

Ideas Surrounding Open Pedagogy

  • Open Pedagogy Notebook - A repository of ideas and assignments led by Open Pedagogy champions Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa
  • List of Crowdsourcing Projects - For instructors interested in involving students with global work that adds to our growing, collective knowledge
  • DS106 Assignment Bank - Shared prompts, assignments, and examples surrounding digital storytelling
  • Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives - An open public resource made up of stories from people sharing their experiences learning to read, write, and generally communicate with the world around them. Contributed stories can be in text, video, audio, or a combination of formats.

    Browse through some of these repositories to see what OER exist, where there are gaps, and what could benefit from professional review and use case modification and assessment.


    Getting Started

    Unsure if your coursework will benefit from going open? Stacy Katz and Jennifer VanAllen of CUNY’s Lehman College wrote this chapter – Evolving into the Open: A Framework for Collaborative Design of Renewable Assignments - that walks readers through the steps of moving from a disposable to renewable framework.

    Furthermore, there are some great resources that can walk you through the thought process of open pedagogical practices.

    Start a conversation with your Subject Librarian (contacts linked below) who can ask prompting questions, brainstorm ideas, and offer vital lessons to support your transition.

    Contact information