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Open Access: Open Textbooks & OERs

Open Pedagogy @ USask

Heather Ross at the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning can assist you in finding and adapting an open textbook for your USask course. Find out more:

Find, Adopt, & Adapt an Open Textbook

In October 2012, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education announced its support for the creation of open textbooks for the 40 highest enrolled first and second year subject areas in the province’s public post-secondary system.

See the list of open textbooks adopted so far.


OpenStax College offers free online textbooks (and low-cost print versions) for common introductory university-level courses. The books are developed and peer-reviewed by educators and are also customizable to the course needs. OpenStax is a non-profit organization initiated by Rice University and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.


Open Textbook Library is an aggregator of high-quality open access textbooks run by the University of Minnesota.

Wikibooks is a collection of open-content textbooks that anyone can edit.

Guidelines for OERs

UNESCO 2011, 2015 publication: Guidelines for open educational resources (OER) in higher education (free download)

OER Foundation

The Open Education Resource (OER) Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides leadership, international networking and support for educators and educational institutions to achieve their objectives through Open Education.

Capetown Open Education Declaration

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration arises from a September 2007 meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Declaration " a statement of principle, a statement of strategy and a statement of commitment. It is meant to spark dialogue, to inspire action and to help the open education movement grow."

Sign the Declaration HERE.

Other Free Online Education Resources

MERLOT is a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy.   MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services.

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site's resources are available to anyone.

Relevant Books in University Library Collection

Some Definitions

Open Education is a collection of practices and principles that encourage collaboration among educators to create educational resources that can be freely shared and distributed for learning and further collaboration (source).

Open Educational Resources (OERs), are educational materials which are licensed in ways that provide permissions for individuals and institutions to reuse, adapt and modify the materials for their own use (source).

Open CourseWare (OCW) is a free and open digital publication of high-quality college and university level educational materials.  These materials are organized as courses, and often include course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content. Open CourseWare is free and openly licensed, accessible to anyone, anytime via the internet.

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale online particpation.

Open Education in Canada

The Athabasca University Graduate Students' Association (AUGSA) released a report in 2012 on Open Educational Resources in Canada, entitled: Canada’s Contribution to the Commons: Creating a Culture of Open Education.

From their website: "The report is among the first of its kind in Canada, and we are happy to be able to contribute primary research on this topic. Canada’s Contribution to the Commons looks at the state of Open Education in Canada and around the world today, and lays out a vision for the future."

OpenCourseWare at USask


Open CourseWare at USask

This site provides a place for publicly available material from current or recently offered courses at the University of Saskatchewan. Instructors have the option to share as many files associated with their course as they wish. Materials stay up for one year after the completion of the course.


Perhaps the best-known, and most established, example of open courseware is from MIT.

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. See more details here.