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University of Southern MaineLibraries

Open Educational Resources by Subject: Home

A guide to free, open access books and other materials


Through creative use of Open Access Resources faculty can transform classes while saving students money. The tabs above provide interested faculty with select resources for their discipline.

What Are OERs?

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open and distance learning.

Higher Ed; Lower Ed; Open Ed: Pitfalls and Potential in Adult Learning

A 2017 presentation by Robin DeRosa on her experience using OERs to transform classes generated a lot of faculty interest. See this presentation (approx. 80 min) and slides.

Open Resources

Open Access Textbooks

Textbooks have always been expensive, but the cost of textbooks has risen over 800% in the last 8 years. USM Libraries and the USM Bookstore support faculty in moving to open access, online textbooks. Many sources exist, while faculty are encouraged to produce their own textbook and place it in USM's Digital Commons for open access to everyone.

Please refer to this guide on Open-Source Textbooks for more detailed information.


Print Textbooks

Most USM textbooks are only available in print form. While the Bookstore carries copies for purchase, USM Libraries now provides one Reserve copy of many 100 and 200-level textbooks for use in the library. Check with the library of the campus where the class taught.

Faculty are encouraged to help the library expand its collection of textbooks and keep that collection current by donating their desk copy of current textbooks Reserve access by students.

Lesson Plans

Sample open access lesson plans from a variety of sources. CTEL and USM Librarians welcome the opportunity to locate other lesson plans that meet your specific needs.

Want to create your own course materials? The University of Southern Maine has Instructional Design and Support staff who can help you design and create the course materials that will work best for you.

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Useful Documents

Instructional Design & Support Staff