Content Delivery - Open Resources

Overview | Instructional Use | Shortcomings | Technology required | Resources

Open educational resources refer to all digital resources available through in the Internet for teaching and learning that can be used, and sometimes even modify, without infringing any copyright issues.

With all of the free educational content and material available in the Internet, it is very likely that there are already several resources related to your online course. Thus, it might be convenient to invest a few hours exploring what external resources could be used to complement your online lessons.



Resource diversity: Open educational resources (OER) include not only text-based content such as papers or whole free text books, but depending on your field, you might be able to find instructional videos, helpful graphics, motivating animations, and even engaging simulations.

Adaptability and Customizability: Open educational resources can be modified for instructional purposes without breaking copyright laws. You can use an existing material and adapt it to fit the goals and objectives of your course.

Time and Money savings: Using open educational resources saves you the time required for creating material from scratch as well as saves students' money from having to buy expensive textbooks.


The quality of freely available educational resources varies significantly. Before using an external resource as complement of your class, it is important to invest some time finding and reviewing the appropriate materials.

The inherent risk of using external web resources is that they can be deleted or moved at any time. To avoid this issue, it is recommended to use resources from well known sites such as MERLOT and OER Commons. Moreover, it is convenient to check that the links to each of those external resources are still active before the semester starts.


A plethora of free educational resources across multiple disciplines and academic levels are readily available through the Internet. In this way, you and your students only need a computer with Internet acess.

Depending of your academic field, there might be educational resources in languages other than English. In that case, it might be convenient using an online automated translating service such as Google Translate



The following websites include multiple free textbooks and additional educational resources in different areas: