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OER & ZTC: Open Educational Resources and Zero Textbook Cost Options

A guide for faculty and students about OER and ZTC at Pasadena City College

Finding OER

As previously noted, OER are basically anything you can utilize in a course that are open to use - from full courses to textbooks, from individual modules to media components.  Unfortunately, there isn't a single tool that harvests everything for us, so below are some resources that you can use to help identify OER materials. 

  • OpenStax: OpenStax is a publisher of OER textbooks. Their textbooks go through peer review and are updated routinely. They are available online, downloadable, or  physical copies. 
  • LibreTexts: A large repository of OER texts that are hosted and reformatted for their site. Many colleges also host their own adaptations of texts on LibreTexts.
  • California Open Education Resources Council Showcase: The CSU, UC, and CCC systems collaborated to put together a showcase of OER materials - some aligned to CID.
  • ASCCC OERI: The Academic Senate has supported OER creation efforts. These are the projects from those grants. 
  • Achieving the Dream OER Degree Initiative: This collection of texts were built by community colleges to develop OER-based degree pathways.
  • University of MN Open Textbooks: A large repository of OER textbooks, the University of MN also supports the Open Education Network to support institutions of higher education in publishing OER.
  • LumenLearning: LumenLearning is another publisher of OER. These courses are hosted on their site, much like LibreTexts.
  • Pressbooks Directory: Pressbooks is a publishing platform used by many institutions to create OER. This directory allows you to search for works published and made available via their platforms.
  • Milne Open Textbooks (Open SUNY):  SUNY's own collection of published OER textbooks. 
  • BC Campus: A large repository of OER textbooks. Based in Canada - with crossover with the University of MN repository. 
  • Directory of Open Access Books: This repository includes open books from a range of publishers and topics.



  • Merlot: This repository, based out of the CSU system, holds courses, textbooks, and other open materials.
  • SkillsCommon: This repository focuses on CTE programs and features course outlines and materials, but also has some texts and supplementary materials. 
  • OER Commons: This repository connects you to a large range of open materials, including textbooks, lessons, and activities. It also features its own authoring tool to create your own OER materials.
  • Canvas Commons: Open Canvas courses from different institutions.
  • MIT OCW: MIT courses that include modules, activities, readings, and textbooks.
  • Serendipity: A repository of open materials sourced internationally.
  • SPARC's Connect OER: SPARC has a directory of OER initiatives to highlight degrees and courses across higher education.
  • Pixabay: Images that can be reused freely per their own license terms.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Many images here can be reused freely - a range of licenses are used.
  • Unsplash: Images that be reused freely per their own license terms.
  • CreativeCommons: Find out more about Creative Commons licenses and the resources that are licensed openly.
  • PhET Simulations (Science/Math): PhET provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations.
  • DigCCMixter: Openly licensed music.
  • LibriVox: Public domain audiobooks.
  • Digital Commons Network: Openly licensed scholarly journals and materials.
  • Springer Open Journals: Openly licensed journal articles via Springer.
  • TEDTalks: TEDTalk videos that are licensed CC BY-NC-ND.
  • Flickr: You can find openly licensed images in Flickr.

You might also want to try the search tools below.

George Mason University's OER Search Tool:

Search: Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)


SUNY Geneseo, Milne Lbrary's OER Search Tool: