Open Educational Resources

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Education encompasses resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment. Open Education maximizes the power of the Internet to make education more affordable, accessible and effective.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OER

Open Textbooks

Did You Know...

  • The high cost of some course materials can impede students’ academic success.
  • The College Board estimates that the average undergraduate can budget $1,220 - $1,420 for textbooks and supplies in 2017–18.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation.
  • Seven out of 10 students don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.

Open Textbooks

Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their course. Open textbooks are full, real textbooks, used by many faculty across the country, and licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed.

Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library provides access to open textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks. It is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network.

Other Open Educational Resources

Mason OER Metafinder - Simultaneously search several OER repositories

More Open Textbook Resources

BCcampus Open Textbooks

EdTech Books


Milne Open Textbooks

OER Commons




Using OpenStax Textbooks in Canvas

OER Opportunity at UNCW's Randall Library

Open Education Mini-grants ($1,000) 

Randall Library will be awarding another round of $1000 mini-grants to support faculty adoption of open educational resources (OER). All UNCW faculty members teaching undergraduate or graduate classes during the academic year are eligible to apply.

An informational workshop about OER and the mini-grant program is forthcoming.

Interested in exploring OER? Plan to apply for this year's mini-grants? View the slides from our previous information session. 

Randall Library has awarded 11 mini-grants with a cumulative savings to students of $115,100.

Open Education Awarded Grants

Instructor Course Textbook Semester(s) Taught
Vance Durrington, Dennis Kubasko, Angelia Reid-Griffin EDN 301 Foundations of Learning and Instructional Design Technology Fall, Spring 2020

Joanne Halls

GGY 215 TBD Spring 2021
Michaela Howells ANT 346 Multiple open access resources to include articles, podcasts, videos, databases (Newsbank) and open source software technologies Fall 2020
Yeoun Soo Kim-Godwin NSG 582

Teaching the Practitioners of Care: New Pedagogies for the Health ProfessionsExpert Clinician to Novice Nurse Educator: Learning from First-Hand NarrativesEducating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation

Summer, Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Richard Pond PSY 225, PSY 264

Introductory Statistics from OpenStax

Social Psychology

Summer, Fall 2020
Lance Cummings ENG 312 Business Communication for Success Spring 2020
Kathy R. Fox EDN 340, LIC 540

Steps to Success: Crossing the Bridge Between Literacy Research and Practice

Summer 2019, Fall 2019
Huili Hao EVS 518 Research Methods for Environmental Studies: A Social Science Approach,  Social Science Research: Principles, Methods and Practices Fall 2019
Tracy Y. Hargrove EDN 322 Mathematics for elementary teachersTeaching Children MathematicsNorth Carolina Standard Course of Study Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Colleen Reilly ENG 393

A concise guide to communication in science and engineeringExplaining research: How to reach key audiences to advance your workAn introduction to social media for scientistsThe Forgotten Tribe: Scientists as Writers. Perspectives on Writing

Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Ann Rotchford CRM/SOC 300, CRM/SOC 301 Online Statistics Education: An Interactive Media Course of Study Fall 2019


Scholarly Research Services

Scholarly Research Services logo

For more information, visit our Scholarly Research Services webpage.


UNC System Course Collection Libraries

The UNC System Course Collection Libraries is a set of OER collections that have been curated by faculty teams from across the UNC System during Summer 2020 to support and enhance both face-to-face and online instruction. Each collection complements a high-demand course commonly offered across most UNC System institutions, including anatomy and physiology, introductory statistics, and much more. Extensive implementation guides and how-to videos make implementing these resources into an LMS like Canvas easy and straightforward.

Also view the OER Collections Webinar Series which features expert presentations on topics including:

  • Customizing OER Materials and Integrating into Your LMS
  • Copyright, Fair Use, and Building/Remixing OER
  • Open-Enabled Pedagogy
  • Using OER to Build More Inclusive Materials

NC LIVE Open Education Initiative

Open Education North Carolina is an initiative that aims to reduce the cost of higher education for North Carolina students by providing free, open e-textbooks for 30 of the most frequently-taught courses across North Carolina’s 2 and 4-year colleges and universities.

View curated collections, join groups, and view tutorials through Open Education North Carolina's hub at the OER Commons


OpenUNC was founded in 2020 by the UNC University Library Advisory Council (ULAC) to increase access to open research and educational resources that are being created across the UNC System. The goal of OpenUNC is to bring together the diverse open access initiatives created and shared by each individual UNC System institution to ensure that this important suite of scholarship and resources is freely accessible worldwide. Access the platform at

OER Programs at North Carolina Institutions

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