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OER@CMU: Open Educational Resources: Get started

This guide is designed to help CMU faculty find, create, and incorporate open educational resources (OERs) for classes, text development, professional development, and more!

OER Basics


Colorado is leading the way in Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption, which has been shown to foster innovation, reduce costs and boost student success. Visit the CDHE's OER Referatory to learn about the open resources being used in Colorado by grantees and others.

OER Step-by-step

  1. Step one: Set aside time. Searching for these materials takes time and persistence, just like research! As you begin, also consider possible sources of funding for your efforts at CMU.
  2. Step two: take a look to see if someone else has created a similar, complete OER course or textbook. See the "Complete Courses" and "Complete Textbooks" sections of the "Find" tab. Example: Go to the Open Textbook Library and browse their open business texts.
  3. Step three: Get cozy with your learning objectives. Instead of focusing on the textbook that you would like to replace, focus on what you would like students to know or be able to do. You will likely need to search for several materials to address different topics or components of your complete class. (Example: instead of searching for “biology” materials, search for “cell structure” or “DNA” or “evolution” materials.)
  4. Step four: Use Google “Advanced Search” to search for open resources.

  1. Step five: Search within some of the specific OER repositories/OER search engines: See the "Find" tab for a list.*OER Librarian pro-tip* Use the browsing tools that the repository or search engine presents to you! Don’t rely solely on keyword searching.

  1. Step six: Look for library materials like ebooks, articles and streaming videos to fill in gaps. Visit the library's homepage to search our collection.
  2. Step seven: Not finding what you’re looking for? Ask your librarians. We're happy to help or refer you! Email:
  3. Step eight: Consider creating and sharing your own OER. See the "Create" tab. Open Learn has a helpful open, modular online course "Creating Open Educational Resources"


Need/Want more advice on searching for OER? Check out this 60-minute webinar “Finding and Selecting High Quality OER” from the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

Head of Access Services & Outreach

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Laureen Cantwell-Jurkovic
Laureen Cantwell
Head of Access Services & Outreach
Tomlinson Library

Liaison to: all Business, WCCC, and Mass Comm programs
Skype Contact: poetbrarian


Content for this guide has been tailored for CMU by Laureen Cantwell (Head of Access Services & Outreach) & Anne Bledsoe (Head of Instruction), based on an OER guide developed by Jen Klaudinyi and Amanda Bird, librarians at Portland Community College.