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OER 101: What's New

What's New?

Stop here for the latest resources, articles and news about Open Educational Resources (OER).


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The California Education Learning Lab (CELL) has awarded LibreTexts $4 million over the next four years to enhance their ADAPT open homework and learning system.


openstax organic chemistry coverThe publication of a new OER edition of a highly influential Organic Chemistry text “conveys that OER is now in the mainstream,” according to David Harris, editor-in-chief of OpenStax. “It puts to rest finally any question of ‘quality’ difference between OER and commercial material.” Read more about how this best-selling textbook in Organic Chemistry by John McMurry, emeritus professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University, came to be added to the OpenStax collection in this article from SPARC:


By the Numbers

A popular open textbook repository for higher education, the Open Textbook Library, now offers 1,107 textbooks. Several other repositories now have special libraries that focus on textbooks and other materials needed for coursework at community and technical colleges.


The U.S. Department of Labor invested $1.9 billion in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program which includes Skills Commons Workforce Training Materials.


More than 700 community colleges contributed content in construction, health care, manufacturing, information technology, and much more. LibreTexts Workforce is supported by the U.S. Department of Education and provides training materials for a broad spectrum of careers from audio/visual technology to corrections & criminal justice.


Faculty frequently ask how they can find the highest quality OER. Since the federal government, philanthropic organizations, states, and universities, have invested billions of dollars in OER, finding high-quality sources is easier than ever. OpenStax and Milne Open Textbooks use a formal peer review system like that used by commercial publishers. Many other OER sites, such as the Open Textbook Library and Merlot, provide faculty reviews. The Open Textbook Library rubric includes a 10-point review criteria.  


graph showing the 47% of faculty report using OER
47% of faculty report using OER. Data from Educational Resources in US Higher Education, 2023 report by Bay View Analytics.

Blackboard & OERs

Creating online courses that include eTextbooks, homework assignments and quizzes that work with Blackboard is easier than ever!

blackboard learn logo

Easy to use tools include:

The LibreTexts ADAPT platform is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project and the California Education Learning Lab.

opened22 logo

The International OpenEd22 and LibreFest conferences were held online in October. Sessions reported the successes and challenges of open education initiatives around the world. The adoption of OER such as openly licensed electronic and print textbooks and supplemental class materials is becoming mainstream in the U.S. and beyond. These initiatives are saving students money and enhancing equity for students who can’t afford to purchase class materials. In fact, OER savings have exceeded 1 billion worldwide.


Want a copy?

Many repositories have partnered with publishing/printing vendors to provide quick, inexpensive printing of textbooks and other materials. Here’s one example from LibreText: Use the LibreTexts Online Bookstore.

libretext order a print copy


Open the Box

course materials available in openstaxOpenStax has expanded the number of test banks and other free instructor materials, such as PowerPoints and syllabus language, available for their core textbooks. These features have made OpenStax content an alternative to commercial publishers’ “courses in a box.”

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, Open Educational Resources at CCAC by Community College of Allegheny County Libraries is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.