Skip to Main Content

Online Teaching Resources for Faculty: OER and No-cost resources

Get help from a Librarian

Profile Photo
Lia Thomas
Phone: 650-574-6568
IM: csmref
Twitter: csmlibrarian

Chat with a CSM librarian now!

Some content in this post was derived from Supporting Students Through Open and Affordable Course Materials by Camille Thomas and used under a CC BY 4.0 license.
Content on this page, unless otherwise noted, is licensed CC BY 4.0.

See what OE resources are being used at CSM...

Faculty Select: An OER Database for CSM Faculty

Open Educational Resources & Open Textbook Collections

Open educational resources (OER) are freely-accessible, openly licensed textbooks, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. OER can be reused, customized, and widely shared by others. Our top suggestions for open textbooks include:

  • LibreText: An online textbook platform that allows instructors to search, use, and create textbooks and learning objects for their courses. Find free textbooks to use in your courses and see what books SMCCD and other college faculty have created and are using in their courses: Biology, Business, Chemistry, Engineering, Espano,l Geosciences, Humanities, Math, Medicine, Physics, Social Science, Statistics, Workforce
  • Standard Ebooks: A not-for-profit project that produces new editions of public domain ebooks that are formatted for readers, open source, and free. Consists mostly of literature and classics.
  • Openstax: Peer-reviewed, open textbooks on introductory topics. Students can buy print copies. See their blog post on Teaching online with OpenStax to support emerging social distancing requirements. OpenStax has quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. OpenStax Allies offer competitively-priced homework platforms that work with OpenStax books, and many of them are waiving costs right now.
  • Open Textbook Library : Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
  • OER Commons: Public library of open educational resources wit platform for content authoring & remixing.
  • MERLOT: The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.
  • Open SUNY Textbooks: An open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative published high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.
  • Open Michigan: Access a range of course materials, videos, lectures, student work and more. Nearly all of the content here is openly licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.
  • BC Campus OpenEd: Search for quality open textbooks offered in a variety of digital formats.
  • Lumen Learning: Offers a wide array of open content that you can access for free.

Don’t use a standalone textbook? Many instructors chose to use a mix of open resources to support their curriculum instead of just one open textbook. Sources include TED Talks, online news articles from publications such as The Guardian, government information such as, and other high-quality information available online. Some instructors also use Open Scholarly Monographs as educational resources in their course, which carry the same open licenses.

Open Access/Free Films Online

Library-licensed eBooks, Articles, and Online Resources for the Classroom

Library-licensed material expands the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other OER materials. Use permalinks for library-licensed materials in your classroom (rather than providing a digital file) in order to avoid copyright infringement.  If you are interested in browsing our immense online collection for course materials, here are a couple of our search tools:

  • OneSearch: The CSM Library catalog searches CSM and SMCCD collections, OneSearch also has links to thousands of Open Access books and articles.
  • Ebooks: Free access to high-quality, academic texts to all CSM students. Explore our ebook collections, or request the library purchase a title.
    • Note that the library does not have unlimited user access for all ebook titles per publisher availability
  • Databases A-Z List: Full-text articles, books, and films available to your students 
  • Journal Search: Looking for a specific article that you've like your students to read? This tool allows you to find publication's by title, then lets you search our databases for the articles you need. Or, ask a librarian for help with finding specific articles (chat is the fastest way).
  • Streaming Media: See our Streaming Videos page to see how to integrate films in your classroom

The CSM Library is committed to open and affordable solutions that will ease the burden of textbook costs.

Request Resources for your Courses

If you would like the CSM Library to acquire specific resources for your class, or to search the library for resources that you're unsure if we own or have access to, please fill out a reserves request form found on our Faculty Services page.