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Faculty Support

A guide to library services and support for CityU Faculty

About OER

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)? 

Open Educational Resources are any type of educational material freely available for faculty, students, and staff to use, reuse, adapt, and/or share. 

OER Benefits

OER Benefits 

Reusability, Customization, and Collaboration 

OER doesn’t just include textbooks, but all kinds of educational materials. Leveraging OER allows you to reuse and adapt items like lesson plans, activities, images, and other course materials. You can save time and encourage global learning communities by collaborating with instructors all over the world who are making their materials freely available online. 

Lower the Cost of Education 

Simply put, OER are free to the end user. Adoption of OER can help supplement the work that the CityU Library already does to bring the cost of textbooks down for students. Additionally, students can continue to access OER after they leave school, allowing for life-long learning. 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practice  

OER opens an array of opportunities for faculty to design culturally responsive teaching materials, particularly in disciplines and sub-disciplines where these materials have been historically excluded. Additionally, OERs invite co-creation amongst students, faculty, and/or staff to creatively and powerfully address underrepresented stories and experiences, consider ways of thinking, knowing, and doing that transcend traditional academic practices, and invite possibilities for anti-racist teaching and learning.   

For specific data about the benefits of using OER, please see this information guide from Creative Commons:

Finding OER

Finding OER 

Librarians and Instructional Designers from the Center for Curriculum and Instruction have collaborated to create this list of OER for the benefit of faculty, students, program managers, and subject matter experts. This Excel document is organized by content type, using the tabs along the bottom.

Adopting and Using OER

Adopting and Using OER 

Most OER use Creative Commons (CC) licensing. You may have noticed some of their licenses online. Here are some examples: 

examples of Creative Commons license icons 

CC licenses provide “everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law.” You can read more about CC licenses on their website, or view the handouts linked below for more information.

For general information on copyright and fair use, please see our page on Copyright for Faculty.

OER Accessibility

OER Accessibility  

OERs, like so many other digital tools, are not 100% accessible. Some platforms, like Pressbooks, offer nuanced accessibility statements: Others do not. Seeking out OER accessibility statements and making them visible to students is essential for making teaching and learning a more inclusive and equitable experience.

A recent article titled “Improving the Digital Accessibility of OER: A Reflective Guide” provides a strong introduction to OER accessibility issues:


Questions about finding, accessing, using, or assessing OER?