Searching for Open Materials

This page was written by Quill West for Library as Open Education Leader and Pierce College, it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Share often and well!

One of the top functions of people who support open education is finding OER. There are a lot of ways to search for open materials, and there are a lot of repositories that house open materials. I believe that experience searching repositories is very important, but it is just as important to remember that the best searches for OER start with smart reference interviews and good planning. Like any search for materials, your search for OER will be more successful if you start by defining what you need.

At Pierce College, we place a lot more emphasis on the preparatory work with faculty than the actual search itself. This website includes three videos from a sample interaction between a teacher and myself, as well as the template that I developed over my years of working with faculty to find and adopt OER.

Special thank you to Pierce College CEAL team for helping to develop the videos, and the Pierce College Library and Emma Clausen for dedicating time and effort to this project.

Here are the templates the templates and videos that make up this training:

Step One: First Contact. Set up the template.
Template One

First Contact Video

(Please note: Captions are coming soon to this video.)

Step Two: Work with the instructor to add course topics and find open textbooks to include if possible. Send this document directly to the faculty member.

Template Two

Faculty Conversation Video

Step Three: Do more extensive searches and share the template with the faculty member. It helps if you can search by topic and try to map content to each topic.

Template Three

Final Search Video

(Please note: Captions are coming soon to this video.)



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