Select Open Educational Resources for STEM Instruction

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A young woman writes in a notebook while reading on her computer.

ATE community members are likely already connected with open education resource (OER) hubs (for example, the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources). Whether you are a novice or knowledgeable OER user, it is always nice to add new tools to your toolkit. Particularly in the textbook realm, OER tools can increase accessibility, equity, and efficacy in classrooms. As COVID-19 continues to impact learning environments, open textbooks are more important than ever. This blog post connects ATE community members with several great platforms. Do you have a favorite OER textbook tool beyond our list?  We’d love to hear from you – email us at!

Find course texts for a variety of disciplines with LibreTexts.

This resource offers libraries for such fields as mathematics, physics, medicine, chemistry, engineering, and biology. The site also has a hub of materials in Spanish and a Workforce Library focused on tech and trade skills. Within all these libraries, readers can find bookshelves of digital textbooks, campus courses of customized LibreTexts, homework exercises, and ancillary materials such as visualizations and simulations. LibreTexts is directed by its founder Delmar Larsen, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Davis, and these materials are developed collaboratively between faculty, students, and outside experts and scholars. 

Locate high-quality digital textbooks in the University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Library.

In the Open Textbook Library STEM educators will find a large collection of openly-licensed textbooks that can be downloaded for free as PDF or e-book files. The wealth of subjects offered include: medicine, computer science, mathematics, engineering, and natural sciences. The books come from multiple authors and publishing  organizations, and cover a wide range of academic areas, including the humanities, natural and social sciences, mathematics, medicine, and law. Educators teaching remotely may also enjoy the site’s distance education materials.

Search across OER platforms with the Mason OER Metafinder.

This powerful search tool from the Mason Publishing Group at George Mason University allows users to search record metadata from more than 20 digital libraries and repositories, including the Digital Public Library of America, OER Commons, and AMSER — Applied Math and Science Education Repository. Searches are conducted in real time and are not pre-indexed. To get to the actual metafinder, visitors should click on the link embedded at the top of the homepage. The metafinder allows users to enter search terms in full record (searching across the entire content of a document), title, author, or date range. Users can also choose which sources the metafinder should search by unselecting repositories below the search bars (all repositories are included by default).

Design custom educational resources with this Accessibility Toolkit published by BCcampus.

This toolkit provides a guide to creating an open textbook or other OER that is designed with both access and accessibility in mind. Written for non-technical users, the toolkit is organized into two main sections: Key Concepts and Best Practices. Examples of the topics covered include the concept of universal design for learning, organizing content for accessibility, best practices for including images and multimedia, and how to write an accessibility statement. The toolkit also includes appendices offering resources such as a checklist for accessibility and an activity exploring scenarios to help decide whether redesign or accommodation is most appropriate.

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