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Open Educational Resources: OER: OER Overview

Why Use Open Educational Resources?

Are you frustrated with the textbooks that are out there for your subject?  Are your students frustrated at the cost? Do they buy older editions or maybe not purchase the textbook at all?  What can instructors do to help the situation?

An Open Educational Resource (OER) may be your answer.  You can put as much or as little time into it as you wish.  It can be one you've re-used from a peer reviewed author, one you've written yourself, or a combination thereof.  You can work with the Library to help locate resources; you can also use a LibGuide for your course resources.  Statistics show that registration in courses using OER textbooks has increased.

Watch video of Santa Ana College students talking about OER.

For more information, contact Michele Pratt at (989) 686-9822 or

Michigan OER Summit

Michigan 2021 OER Summit - Save the Date!

The Summit will be held virtually on August 11-12, 2021 and will be free of charge. 

Keynote speaker will be Angela DeBarger, Program Officer in Education, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and Lisa Petrides, founder and CEO, ISKME.

This year's theme is "Building Bridges to Open Up Education," so everyone is invited to submit proposals that speak to the connections, collaborations, and partnerships that promote open education, OER, open pedagogy, and all other aspects of open.  Together, let's celebrate our success, share our challenges, and reinvent the future where all have access and opportunity to create knowledge for the public good.

To register, visit

Tutorial on Open Educational Resources

This online tutorial will walk you through the steps to incorporate Open Educational Resources into your curriculum. The modules are self-paced and not facilitated.

Delta OER Committee Members


Martha Crawmer
Reva Curry
Laura Dull (co-chair)
Dawn Fairchild
Donna Giuliani
Cynthia Grether
Nancy Hartshorne
Karry Kiste-Toner
Peter Larkowski
Donna Militello
Michele Pratt (co-chair)
Brad Pretzer
Nicole Ryan
Ronald Schlaack
Donald Winter


The Five Rs of OER

Where do I start?

  • Make the decision to use open resources instead of a traditional textbook.
  • Decide whether you want to use a textbook that has already been created and openly licensed; alter one that has been openly licensed; or create your own and license it for others to use.  If you choose to start with a textbook that has already been written, there are great resources on this guide.  Many are peer reviewed! Ancillary information is being added to this "OER community" daily, so keep checking!
  • If you choose to alter or reuse a textbook, use the resources on this guide to find a textbook.
  • Talk to your librarian to locate additional resources to be used in your class.  Resources might be:
    • In an online repository
    • Articles from library online databases
    • e-books from among the library's package of 243,000
  • Select/alter your textbook or resource.
  • License your material with a Creative Commons license.
  • Add to Delta's hub on OER Commons: so that others may use it!  Register for an account (top right) and then ask to join the group!
  • Questions?  Contact Michele Pratt at or (989) 686-9822.

OER Adoption Steps & Checklist

Steps to Using an OER Textbook

  1. Identify course and define level of involvement:
    1. Adopt an existing OER textbook.
    2. Revise an existing OER textbook.
    3. Combine existing OER textbooks.
    4. Develop a new OER textbook.
  2. Develop or revise course outline: Define all learning topics (or sessions) that are in alignment with learning outcomes and objectives of the course.
  3. Request assistance in research: Michele Pratt @ x9822
  4. Research resources and additional information: Visit Delta’s OER guide (
  5. Request assistance for textbook formatting and ADA compliance: eLearning (Michele Pratt @ 9822 for formatting; Jon Hoerauf @ 9355 for ADA compliance).
  6. Only for revised/combined/new OER textbook: Select a Creative Common License (Michele can help).
  7. Notify adoption of OER textbook:
    1. Notify Department Chair/Associate Dean.
    2. Notify Bookstore (when Bookstore list is due) that you are using an OER textbook.
  8. Work with the Bookstore to offer a printed copy of textbook.
  9. Only for revised/combined/new OER textbook:
    1. Save OER textbook to the MCO Repository for others to use (Michele can assist).
    2. Save any new images included in any adapted textbook and the original document for any future remix made by others to a Delta repository folder (coming soon).

OER Checklist (for revised/combined/new)

  • Copyright compliance: Nothing is copyrighted; all materials used must be licensed Creative Commons OR have written permission from author/publisher if not Creative Commons.
  • The correct Creative Commons license is used.
  • The Creative Commons license is printed in book where appropriate.
  • The document is ADA compliant.
  • A printed copy of the book is on Reserve both for students to use in the LLIC and when taking an open book test in the Testing Center.


What is an OER?
OER, or Open Educational Resources, are digital resources that are freely available to students.  Printed copies are available via the Bookstore for a nominal fee (less than $50). 

How do I find OER textbooks?
Many OER textbooks have already been created for your use, and many more are created daily.  You can search your division tabs above for textbooks that have been found in your teaching area.  There are also lists of repositories on the Open Textbooks tab where you can search.  You can utilize a textbook that has been created, replace chapters in an already-created book to make it more useful for your students, or combine two books into one!

What about ancillary material?
More and more ancillary material is being created all of the time.  One estimation is that in five years, ancillary material will be available for all disciplines!  Ancillary material may be found on your discipline tab or by searching the Open Textbooks tab.

Where do I get help finding resources?
If you're puzzled where to look, or having difficulty, contact Michele Pratt in the Library.  She will put you in touch with a Librarian who can assist you in locating resources.

What about ADA?  Formatting?
Books at major OER repositories are ADA compliant.  If you're combining resources to create a book, MCO (Michigan Colleges Online) has an Authoring Tool to assist with ADA compliance and formatting. 

What about copyright?
OER materials are licensed under Creative Commons.  This licensing allows for sharing of information.  See the What about copyright? tab for more information.

How do I get started?

  • Make the decision to use an OER.
  • Search this Guide for a suitable textbook.
  • Register for an account with the MCO OER hub: (top right).  Search their repository.
  • Contact Michele Pratt in the Library (

Copyright Free Pictures