OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

Here are Open Educational Resources you could explore at your convenience for your Academic Excellence.

MIT OCW

As the forerunner of the Open Educational Resource movement, MIT’s Open CourseWare is still one of the most valuable OERs for both learners and teachers.

If you’re a student, you can use the course finder tool to browse courses by topics. When you find one you’re interested in, you can examine the course goals, key topics, and sequence to determine whether it will meet your needs. You can even cherry pick specific concepts you’d like to study from different courses rather than following just one course from beginning to end.

If you’re a teacher, you can use the OCW Educator Portal to sift through courses using terms like “Active Learning or “Instructional Design.” You can also access valuable teaching materials such as images, lecture slides, and videos from MITs leading researchers in the OCW resource library.

Lumen Learning

Although Lumen Learning isn’t entirely free to use, it is a great resource for affordable learning materials and courses. Teachers can use it to access digital content, supplemental materials, and customisable courses for more than 50 subjects. Students can use it to cut down on textbook costs by accessing affordable learning materials such as e-books, videos, and other interactive materials in one place. It can also improve learning outcomes by providing students with opportunities for real-time feedback.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is another open educational resource that’s geared both towards learners and educators. Learners can access educational content on a wide range of topics from science and engineering to computer programming, all from a personalised learning dashboard that enables them to study at their own pace. Teachers can make use of the practice exercises and instructional videos in their lesson planning, and the teacher dashboard makes it easy to check class performance at a glance, while also identifying any students who might be struggling.

Merlot

Merlot is the California State University’s collection of online learning and support materials, as well as content creation tools. It consists of more than 40,000 materials that are rated and peer-reviewed by researchers, educators, and learners. The learning materials are categorised into 22 different material types, including animation, case study, drill and practice, and simulation. Merlot members can also bookmark collections, leave comments and feedback, contribute their own materials, and even build their own courses.

OER Commons

OER Commons is a digital library of open educational resources created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME). With over 70,000 educational resources from providers like the British Library and Harvard University, it’s a great tool for discovering and organising educational content. Open Educational Resource Commons is particularly useful for educators, as it allows them to build their own resources, lesson plans and courses, while using groups to collaborate with other educators in their network.

OpenStax

Based at Rice University, OpenStax is an educational initiative that provides students with free online access to high-quality peer-reviewed textbooks. Students can access textbooks for subjects like math and science, humanities, and business. The OpenStax Tutor, which is based on cognitive science principles and machine learning, also gives them access to online courseware and learning tools that will help them complete their course.

Academic Earth

Academic Earth brings together educational content and course materials from some of the best universities in the world, including Stanford, Princeton, U.C. Berkely, MIT, and Yale. Students can browse the library of more than 1,500 lecture videos, which are organised by the school, subject, and scholar, and then download the ones they like or even find curated playlists based on their interests.

Learningpod

In collaboration with OpenStax, Learningpod created question sets for OpenStax textbooks and is now said to be the largest library of free online practice questions in the world. With Learningpod, teachers can assign practice sets and track student progress, and students can prepare for tests with high quality practice questions and then view reports and graphs showing how they did and which areas may need improvement.

Open Culture

Open Culture was voted as the best Open Educational Resource in the Education Resource People’s Choice Awards conducted by Study.com. It’s a great place to find free cultural and educational media related to movies, language, literature, and more. Students and teachers can use it to access everything from MOOCs and certificate courses to audio books, e-books, and textbooks, as well as unmissable movies and lectures.

Open Learning Initiative

The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) was developed by representatives from Carnegie Mellon University, and provides academic and independent paid, but also open and free online courses. OLI’s content, instructional design, tools, and delivery platform are evidence-based, and its courses have been proven effective by both independent and internal studies. Teachers can use the courses as supplemental material or textbook replacements, whereas independent learners can use the self-guided courses informally to learn more about a subject they’re interested in.

Open Course Library

Managed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, this content is organized by course.

Open Education Consortium

The Open Education Consortium is a community of 240-plus schools as well as organizations and people who want to advance the idea of “open education.” It features an OER resource toolkit, webinars, in-person events and links to open textbooks.

OpenTextBookStore

This site offers a catalog of OER textbooks focusing on math.

Saylor.org

Saylor Academy’s resources cover content from art history to sociology with search filters that can help you locate just the right book, recording, presentation, video, chapter or image. For example, Melissa Barlett, instructor in biology for the Center for Life and Health Sciences at Mohawk Valley Community College (NY), uses this 535-page PDF curriculum in her college success class.

Spiral Physics

Monroe Community College (NY) professor Paul D’Alessandris’ calculus- and algebra-based introductory physics texts were written under an NSF grant, but when mainstream publishers expressed no interest, he placed it online for the entire English-reading world to grab.

Teach Astronomy

This online resource provides learning materials for introductory astronomy courses. At South Florida State College, Natural Science Department Chair Erik Christensen did a mashup with Teach Astronomy’s textbook and astronomy simulations and animations from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to eliminate the need for his students to buy a $165 textbook.

The Orange Grove

Plenty of state departments of education host digital repositories where their teachers can share content they’ve created. This one belongs to Florida, which has mandated that by 2015-2016 half of a K-12 district’s textbook budget has to be spent for digital content and schools need to adopt digital-only curriculum. The state’s colleges are already feeling the impact of those practices.

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