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Open Educational Resources

Information for RVCC faculty to explore and adopt OER.

OER Defined

Open Educational Resources are freely available educational materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students. Fully OER materials are free of cost and free of copyright restrictions, providing a valuable alternative to costly commercial textbooks. RVCC Z-courses use OER and other free-for-student course materials in lieu of commercial textbooks. 

Search open content from more than 90 different sources:

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Find Open Textbooks

The links below will take you to online repositories and libraries of open textbooks. Open textbooks are free to use and distribute and can be adapted or changed (usually with proper attribution to the creator). Open textbooks can be used in whole or in part; how you use it is entirely up to you.

Find eBooks from the Library

Library eBooks are another option for developing a course based on materials that are free to students. Library eBooks are nearly always under copyright, so you must abide by Fair Use guidelines for using them in your course and posting the content in Canvas. You can easily link to the eBook within the library collection and students will access the eBook by logging in with their G# and password. A librarian can help you identify the best link to provide to students. 

Applying Fair Use with Library eBooks

The following are considerations for more directly including library eBook content in your course in accordance with Fair Use:

  • If you can download chapters as PDFs, you may upload the files to your Canvas course and include full citation information for the text on the Canvas page.  
  • If copy/paste is permitted from the eBook, you may copy a limited quantity of the text to paste directly into a Canvas page. Include a full citation to the source on the Canvas page, clearly indicate which text is copied from the source, and include the statement "content from [the source] is included under Fair Use Guidelines."
  • Do not post PDFs or copy/pasted text from a copyrighted material on a freely accessible webpage outside of Canvas.
  • Do not mass-email your class a PDF download from a copyrighted material. Post PDFs in Canvas as described above or email students the link to the material (this is permissible under Fair Use, but emailing to full document would be considered distribution, which is a copyright violation).

Other Open Resources and Supplemental Materials

Besides using full textbooks, OER can be implemented by curating a variety of open access, digital resources. Below are places where you can find such resources. Also consider things like TED talks and other video content, websites, learning objects, and more. Anything that supports your students' learning, is cost-free and copyright-free (ex. Creative Commons licensed) can be part of your OER collection.