Open Education Resources

"Open Education Matters: Why is it important to share content?" by Nadia Mireles on YouTube is licensed CC BY 3.0.

This video introduction to Open Education Resources illustrates the opportunities that can be realised when teaching and learning resources are open licensed to facilitate global distribution, reuse, and local revision.

"Open Education Resources (OERs) are educational materials which are licensed in ways that provide permissions for individuals and institutions to re-use, adapt and modify the materials for their own use. OERs can, and do include full courses, textbooks, streaming videos, exams, software, and any other materials or techniques supporting learning." - OER Foundation definition.

OERs use open licences such as Creative Commons Licences to make the content publicly available. Open licences preserve the creator's intellectual property rights whilst giving permission in advance for the material to be used, subject to certain defined conditions. Such licences may provide the user with the right to reproduce, copy, adapt and communicate the materials under specified terms or conditions.

QUT supports OER

"To create rich learning environments, QUT encourages the use of appropriate and high quality Open Educational Resources, and sharing high quality Open Educational Resources, where QUT's reputation and values are promoted, including social justice and equity in education and research; or there are advantages for learning through using, sharing and building on available Open Educational Resources." (

OER and open textbooks are already in use in QUT courses. These are adopted or adapted from already published open textbooks or have been written by QUT academics. The inclusion of open textbooks in courses is a new approach to providing learning resources. The ability to adapt open textbooks to create localised, customised content is a new opportunity. Selection and acquisition of open textbooks is different from selection and acquisition of traditional published academic texts. Creation or adaptation of open textbooks will require technical and production support to authors which is different from traditional academic publishing.

Open Textbooks and Pressbooks

For more information on creating an OER or to use or adapt an OER, contact your Liaison Librarian or, and consult these resources:

Find Education/ Open Education Resources

Search engine/search interface

Google Advanced Search - Scroll down in advanced search and set "usage rights" parameters to be "Free to use, share, or modify". If you want content for commercial use be sure to select the appropriate option.

CC Search - The CC Search tool automatically filters your search to find Creative Commons licensed resources that you can share, use, and remix.

OER Commons - Provides a single point of access to education resources licensed with Creative Commons licences.

OASIS - A search interface for finding open content including textbooks, which can be browsed or searched.

Photo/image search

Wikimedia Commons


Google Images - Be sure to scroll down in advanced search and set "usage rights" parameters to be "Free to use, share, or modify".
If you want content for commercial use be sure to select the appropriate option.

Open Clip Art Library - Open Clip Art Library images are public domain images you can freely use for personal and commercial use without attribution to the original author.

The Noun Project - A global visual language of icons and symbols that everyone can understand. Symbols and icons on The Noun Project are licensed using Creative Commons.

Video search

YouTube - The best way to find a video that is licensed under the Creative Commons license on YouTube is to use the CC Search, or, in YouTube, type in your search term followed by a comma and then "creativecommons". This is because YouTube does not provide a filter or advanced search capability for finding all YouTube Creative Commons licensed videos.


Internet Archive - Includes a great collection of old video and movie footage, sports videos, ephemeral films, and news footage.

TED - TED talks include Technology, Entertainment, Design. All videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Al Jazeera Creative Commons Repository - Broadcast quality news footage released under various Creative Commons licenses.

Audio/music search

Jamendo - Music tracks licensed under Creative Commons. You can search for music on Jamendo or using the CC Search tool.

ccMixter - Remixes licensed under Creative Commons. Use the dig.ccMixter music discovery tool.

Internet Archive - Audio including animal sounds, old time radio shows, sound effects and music.

Recorded lectures & video tutorials search

Open Yale Courses - (OYC) provide lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses licensed using Creative Commons. The courses span humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided.

MIT OpenCourseWare - (OCW) initiative, a Creative Commons licensed web-based publication of virtually all MIT on campus course content online including lecture notes, exams, and videos. Courses with substantial video and/or audio components are listed here.

webcast.berkeley - UC Berkeley's has a central service for online video and audio lectures. From the home page you can search for a particular course or simply choose to view all courses. Video and audio lectures are licensed as Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Khan Academy - 10 minute tutorial videos covering math, biology, chemistry, physics and even the humanities, finance and history.

Open textbooks

These are mostly US or Canadian sources, but some subjects are universally the same; or, under Creative Commons licences content can be localised.

Open Textbook Library - Free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks including a listing of Open Textbooks by Subject.

BCcampus OpenEd - A collection of open textbooks aligned with the top 40 highest-enrolled subject areas in the British Columbia, Canada. They provide a listing of Open Textbooks by Subject.

OpenStax College - Textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of courses. Licensed CC BY.

Open Access journal articles

OA journal articles are published under various Creative Commons Attribution Licences.

Public Library of Open Science (PLOS) - PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works. Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) - BASE is an academic search engine which indexes documents and provides access to many, but not all documents indexed.

Simulation and animation

PhET - Interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free under the Creative Commons-Attribution 3.0 license and the Creative Commons GNU General Public License. Here's a list of PhET simulations.

Modular course components

Connexions - A platform for viewing and sharing educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. Anyone may view or contribute. Content is licensed with Creative Commons.

MERLOT - An open online community of faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world sharing learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT provides collections of peer reviewed online learning materials. Most, but not all, are Creative Commons licensed.

WikiEducator - A community project working collaboratively towards a free version of the US education curriculum. The OERu initiative taking place in WikiEducator is a virtual collaboration of like-minded institutions committed to creating flexible pathways for OER learners to gain formal academic credit.

Wikiversity - A Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research including professional training and informal learning. Resources are licensed with Creative Commons.

Jorum - A JISC-funded Service in Development in UK Further and Higher Education. It contains contains learning and teaching resources under a Creative Commons (CC) Attribution Non-Commercial licence.

Complete courses

OpenCourseWare Consortium Search - OCW Search is an independent search engine that indexes open courses including from the following universities:

  • MIT
  • Stanford Engineering Everywhere
  • Open University LearningSpace
  • University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Boston
  • University of Tokyo
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins
  • Notre Dame
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Yale University

Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative - (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering innovative, Creative Commons licensed, online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. OLI's courses are delivered on their unique platform which uses student data to generate targeted feedback. Courses range from French language to biology, statistics, programming and more.

Open Course Library - A collection of expertly developed educational materials - including textbooks, syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments - in 81 high-enrolment US college courses. All materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license unless otherwise noted.

MIT OpenCourseWare - (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT campus based course content. OCW is Creative Commons licensed.

UK Open University Learning Space - Online courses from introductory to postgraduate level. All courses are licensed with Creative Commons.

Attribution: These resources are an adaptation of Education/Open Education Resources, by Creative Commons,, licensed CC BY 4.0).