Instructor Support for Open Educational Resources at the McLaughlin Library

Today's Hours: 8am - 10pm - All service hours
Last updated: July 6, 2023 10:40 EDT
Decorative graphic with a photo of an instructor standing with two students. The instructor and the two students are smiling. The students are holding course materials and the instructor is looking down at a piece of paper that he is holding. The text reads “Use OER in your courses to enhance your teaching experience and support course material accessibility for students.” There is a University of Guelph McLaughlin Library logo in the bottom left corner.

As the winter semester comes to an end, many students may be left in financially difficult situations as a result of steep costs incurred from purchasing commercial textbooks – textbooks published by for-profit publishers. This hardship can create many challenges for students which can affect their wellbeing, mental health, and their ability to meet their academic goals. Open Educational Resources (OER) can help to address these challenges.

OER are free educational materials such as textbooks, streaming video, and test banks that are openly licensed and available for anyone to use. Many are high-quality and peer-reviewed resources that can be modified and repurposed to meet your teaching needs. The library wants to help alleviate the affordability and accessibility barriers that commercial textbooks present for students and OER can help. OER provide instructors with opportunities to: 

  • Customize existing open textbooks to meet their own teaching needs 

  • Easily update and modify course materials as needed 

  • Ensure that their students have free, unfettered access to their required course materials from the first day of class 

  • Improve accessibility for students with disabilities 

  • Ensure that their students can meet their academic goals while reducing their financial demands 

The numerous benefits that OER offer have spurred many instructors to implement them into their teaching. Those instructors interested in incorporating OER in their courses can access an array of supports for doing so through the library including: 

  • Assistance with identifying additional openly licensed resources 

  • Assistance with ensuring OER accessibility 

  • Advice on copyright requirements and Creative Commons licensing 

Visit our website to view a full list of campus OER services and supports focused on curriculum development, accessibility, technical troubleshooting, and more. 

We welcome instructors interested in learning more about integrating OER in their teaching to book an appointment with the OER Librarian who can help with all aspects of OER creation and use and facilitate connections with other service experts on campus. We also invite instructors seeking more information about using OER in their courses to: 

  • View our LibGuide on OER - This guide outlines the different places instructors might search for OER, the benefits and drawbacks of each platform, and key links. 

  • Read the OER evaluation criteria to assess the usefulness and appropriateness of an OER for use in their teaching. 

  • Explore Pressbooks, a dedicated platform for e-book publishing and the industry standard for OER publishing (the library also offers training on Pressbooks which can be arranged using the above appointment booking link.) 

Questions? Ask Us! 

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: