Who can get involved?


Many faculty already use OER in their classes — showing YouTube videos, using worksheets, and demonstrating the use of online simulations as learning activities. Faculty can create and share syllabi, lesson plans, and even full textbooks for their courses, often collaborating with faculty at their own institutions or institutions around the world. Using resource repositories, they can access and remix existing OER and republish them to share with others.


Students can play a significant role in creating OER as well — from simple assignments to full textbooks. In Open Pedagogy assignments, students engage in the creation of ongoing resources, as opposed to traditional “throw-away” assignments. As an example, at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), students in Jessica Kruger’s public health course worked in groups and together to research, write, and create a full OER textbook. The result became the book Models and Mechanisms of Public Health. The book will live on in upcoming semesters as future students edit and provide updated content to the book as needed.

Instructional Designers

Instructional Designers can work with faculty and students to integrate OER into teaching and learning, and can also share and publish their course design templates as OER. Many instructional designers and technologists work with librarians and IT services to help integrate OER into learning management systems and other course learning platforms.


Librarians play a key role in OER initiatives – advocating, developing, exploring, and managing OER. Along with helping you find OER, librarians can help you better understand copyright and licensing concepts, and guide you through your Creative Commons licensing options if you choose to create materials yourself.

For more detailed information on working with OER, visit our OER Libguides page!

Material on this page was adapted from Iowa State University’s OER Starter Kit website under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License. Additional material was adapted from REMC Association of Michigan’s page Learn About OER, SUNY OER Services’ Understanding OER page, Brendan Walsh’s Why OER Matters page, Community College Consortium for OER’s Why Open Education page, and Santa Fe College Educational Media Studio’s Open Educational Resources page.