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Copyright: Free Resources (OER)

This guide will provide resources on the topic of copyright.


What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are available for educators to use for free.  That means that there are little to no copyright rules attached to these resources which gives educators the ability to use them freely in their courses without obtaining permission from the creator, or following copyright regulations.

Overview of OER

Education Week: Open Educational Resources (OER): Overview and Definition

RMIT University: What are OERs

Creative Commons: Open Education

Case Studies related to OERs for further reading

Barton Community College OER Instruction Guide : Information for instructors who would like guidance building their course content with OER

Integration of Open Educational Resources in Higher and General Education Institutions: From the Perspectives of Specialized and Concerned Bodies in E-Learning

Moving to Open Educational Resources at Athabasca University: A Case Study

Open Pedagogy: A Systematic Review of Empirical Findings

A Survey of OER Implementations in 13 Higher Education Institutions

OER Repositories

Searchable OER Repositories

Merlot II : One of the largest databases for finding and sharing OER

OASIS: A creation of SUNY, this database has 55,000+ records from 52 different reviewed sources

OER Commons: Searchable digital library of OER


Complete OER Courses

Complete courses along with supplemental materials: free or low cost

Lumen Learning: Peer reviewed curriculum on many different subjects. LMS integration is available

MIT OpenCourseWare: MIT courses available for free - includes video lectures, supplemental materials and more

OpenLearn: free learning platform created in the UK

panOpen: platform that helps institutional adoption of Open Educational Resources - courses, OER database and more

Saylor Academy: nonprofit initiative that offers free and open online courses

KCTCS On-Demand Professional Development

KCTCS faculty and staff have on-demand access to over 500 professional development sessions through Innovative Educator/Go2Knowledge and Magna Commons. These two repositories provide a robust library of relevant topics including teaching and learning, student success, diversity, safety, management, leadership, and more.

Both repositories can be accessed through Blackboard. They are located in the “Professional Development Repositories” module on the main landing page once you login. These resources can also be accessed from the TLC (Training & Learning) site.

In addition to the on-demand PD, you also have access to live webinars through Innovative Educators/Go2Knowledge. KCTCS employees can register for free. 

Finally, Magna Campus provides vetted and cutting edge professional development resources on our 20-Minute Mentor Commons and Magna Commons. 

Other Curated Lists of OER

University of Pittsburgh: Big List of Resources: Includes links to textbook resources, multimedia, and curriculum based around OER

University of Houston Victoria: Discipline Specific OER: OER sorted by general academic discipline

Texas A&M Library: List of OER: Has links to full OER curriculum courses, multimedia resources, open access scholarly articles

Open Access Books/Journals


BCampus OpenEd: Open access textbooks, not all may be reviewed

OpenStax: Peer reviewed college level textbooks

Open Textbook Library: Hundreds of open access college level textbooks


Directory of Open Access Books: Open access academic books, includes international publications

JSTOR Open Access E-Books: Open access eBooks from select university presses

Project Gutenberg: Open access books that are in the public domain



JSTOR Open Access Journals

Public Domain

Works in the public domain may be used without permission, and in general, the older a work is, the more likely it is to be in the public domain. Helpful links are included here.