Need Free Engaging Content for Your Course:  Check Out Open Access Resources.

If you need content for your course there is a wealth of it available that is free or low in cost.  Many types of materials are available including textbooks, images, simulations, government information and videos. These resources are called Open Access Resources (OAR) or Open Educational Resources (OER).  Such resources are according to Educause teaching, learning and research materials that have been released under an open licensing agreement such as Creative Commons.

Why use open access materials?  They are often free or low-cost and do not require copyright permission.  Student textbook cost continue to rise and open access textbooks will save your student's money while still providing them with high-quality materials.  They can supplement library resources and save you the time and effort of creating materials.  One type of material that can require costly software and a great deal of time would be simulations for the sciences.  There are sites were you can obtain previously created simulations and embed them in your course.

When using open access content keep in mind your learning objectives for the course and choose materials that will help you meet those objectives, select materials from a peer-reviewed repository, and read the license for materials carefully and attribute to the source when using.

Here is a quick listing of some of the materials available--

Free textbooks--

OpenStax

Open Textbook Library

Free Educational Materials of all kinds

Merlot

There are many more besides these and the Faculty Development Center will be happy to share them with you.  We even have a webinar on this topic.  Feel free to contact me at jposton@bellarmine.edu to learn more.

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About Bellarmine University

Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.