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OER - Open Educational Resources: Get started

Who can help?

Don't go OER alone! The Library is here to help with the process. Contact us with questions! (503) 338-2462.

Want to review the most recent OER presentation on campus? Here it is: Clatsop OER

Wondering whether OERs can work for your class? Check out the new Open Educational Resources report from SPARC: OER Mythbusting

Wondering what OERs are and how they can benefit students? Can you get involved? Find out at Open Oregon's OER FAQ site from the Oregon Higher Education Coordination Commission: Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development

OER Step-by-step

Are you considering converting to or building a textbook-free course? Would you like to incorporate some open resources into your course to help students get a better grasp of certain topics? Here are some tips for finding Open Educational Resources to build or add to your classes.

Step one: Set aside time.
Searching for these materials takes time and persistence, just like research!

Step two: take a look to see if someone else has created a similiar, complete OER course.
See the "Complete Courses" section of the "Find OER" tab for a list of repositories that provide complete OER courses.
Example: Go to Open Course Library and browse the materials for their biology courses.

Step three: Get cozy with your learning objectives.
Instead of focusing on the textbook that you would like to replace, focus on what you would like students to know or be able to do. You will likely need to search for several materials to address different topics or components of your complete class.
Example: instead of searching for “biology” materials, search for “cell structure” or “DNA” or “evolution” materials.


Step four: Use Google “Advanced Search” to search for open resources.


Step five: Search within some of the specific OER repositories/OER search engines:
See the "Find OER" tab for a list.

*OER Librarian pro-tip* Use the browsing tools that the repository or search engine presents to you! Don’t rely solely on keyword searching.

Step six: Not finding what you’re looking for? Ask your OER librarian.
I’m happy to help or refer you! email: Candice Watkins

Step seven: Consider creating and sharing your own OER.
See the "Create OER" tab.

More advice on searching for OER?

Open Learn has a helpful open, modular online course "Creating Open Educational Resources"

And check out this 60 minute webinar “Finding and Selecting High Quality OER” from the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources:


Dan McClure

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Dan McClure
Clatsop Community College Library and
Learning Resource Center
1680 Lexington
Astoria, OR 97103


Creative Commons License
This content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included.  We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.

Clatsop Community College1651 Lexington Ave. Astoria, OR 97103503-325-0910Admissions: 503-338-2411Toll Free: 1-855-252-8767Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & UniversitiesClatsop Community College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.