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Northwestern Campus Library

Northwestern Open Textbooks, OER & Other Open or Free Resources for Faculty

What are OER? And Open Textbooks?

OER stands for Open Educational Resources, and is a term that refers to any educational resources that are typically:

  1. Free to access online
  2. Low cost to get a print copy
  3. Licensed by the author/creator with rights that are less restrictive than copyright (i.e. all rights reserved). This license typically (though not always) includes the right of any user to copy (digitally) & print the text as well as the right to adapt it as desired for use in a course, as long as authorship is attributed and use is non-commercial.

Open Textbook is a specific type of OER that is designed to be a free or low cost substitute for a traditional textbook.

For those new to Open Textbooks

Helping Students Use Their Digital Textbook

  • Using PDFs in Preview & Using PDFs in Adobe Reader  These YouTube videos show students how to do more than just read PDF documents or print them. Learn how to modify PDF documents to enable annotating and note-taking. 
  • Getting to Know a Digital Textbook  Article written by Dr. Terence Cavanaugh, professor at the Univeristy of North Florida detailing ways to make your open digital textbook more familiar and helpful to students by showing students how they can use free online programs to create their own audio textbooks, create study notes from their text and more

Further Reading

Resource Files & Worksheets

Other Helpful Resources