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For Rhetoric Instructors

Interested in using OER for your classes?

If you are interested in using an Open textbook or other OER materials, please talk to your subject librarian or email Mahrya Burnett, Scholarly Communications Librarian for help on getting started. In the meantime, check out the Open Education Resources online subject guide:

What is OER?

There are many definitions of OER, but the University of Iowa has adopted the following, which includes two main components: OER must be free of cost and openly licensed. 

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses)" 

Tips for Finding OER


OER is often housed in online collections or repositories. Because even strong collections are not always well-crawled by Google, you may have to dig a bit. You can start with a metasearch tool. Tools like the Mason OER Metafinder (below) and OASIS Metasearch will allow you to search across platforms, which can save a lot of time. 

MOM iconMason OER Metafinder (MOM)
Advanced Search

Other Tips

  • Search directly in relevant repositories, like the ones listed on the left. OpenStax is great for intro or survey class texts, where Merlot and OER Commons are better for finding supplementary materials. Open Textbook Library and BCcampus include a lot of both! 
  • Some repositories are discipline-specific or have better disciplinary coverage than others. Seek out repositories that seem to cover your discipline well. 
  • Use the subject headings and filters in the repositories to weed out what you don't want.