Open Educational Resources (OERs): Create OER

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

Creation Tools

Interested in creating your own textbook and course content?  The following tools will help you plan and create.  

Tools for Planning

Tools for Creating

License Your Work

Creative Commons License helps you to legally share your ideas and creations with others and enable them to build upon and make creative use of those items.  The CC license is a standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work. 

There are 6 Creative Commons Licenses to choose from, each with varying degrees of restrictions, with CC-BY being the most accessible and open.  Use the Creative Commons License Chooser to help determine which CC license is the best fit for you.  

Source: "Wanna Work Together?" By Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Next Steps

Now that you have created your content, licensed and attributed the work, and checked for accessibility, you are almost ready to release it to a wide audience.  For the final steps, we strongly encourage a review process by both peers and students. 

  • Have the item reviewed by others, ideally colleagues and other instructors teaching similar content in their classes.  Are there gaps in the material?  Are the examples relevant?  Would they consider using the material in their own classes?  
  • Have the item reviewed by students.  Students will have a unique perspective on the material and their feedback can be very valuable.  Do they find the language unclear?  Do the visuals convey the message you intend?  Are there parts of the work they find not useful? 

Once you are satisfied with the final product, you are ready to share it with others. Here are some places to promote and share your work

Helpful Resources

Self-Publishing Guide

The BCcampus Open Education Self-publishing Guide is a reference for individuals or groups wanting to write and self-publish an open textbook.  This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook.  

Authoring Open Textbooks

Authoring Open Textbooks is a guide for faculty authors, librarians, project managers, and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and K-12.  Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.  By Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen.

Open Textbook Toolkit

The Open Textbook Toolkit was created by University of Toronto and is designed to support faculty who would like to create their first open textbook.  Key sections include information on stakeholders, technology, copyright, accessibility, and general production and classroom use. 

A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students

A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students is a handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other Open Educational Resources.  


PDX Open

PDXOpen is Portland State University's open access platform where textbooks are freely available on the web for students at PSU and beyond.  Items in PDXOpen include an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license which allows authors and others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commerically.  More information on submission guidelines and funding opportunities can be found on the PDXScholar Services page. 

Accessibility Resources