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FEATURE Open Educational Resources
fit learning outcomes, term length, student needs and other preferences. (Cost: $10 per enrolled student.) Waymaker has 22 courses for personalized study and interactive activities to encourage students to practice and apply their learning. And Online Homework Manager (OHM) is a homework “engine” for math and other quantitative subjects, with text, video, adaptive assessments, machine grading and “immediate feedback” for the students.
What we like: These resources are designed to replace costly packages of course materials with less expensive options that fit faculty needs for the whole caboodle — not just the content but also the extra stuff too.
MIT Open Courseware
This Massachusetts Institute of Technology site features whole courses, but also dedicates a page to its online textbook offerings, consist- ing of open-licensed electronic editions of print books along with self-published online books and course notes that are “so thorough” they could serve as alternatives to conventional textbooks.
What we like: You could, arguably, find the most extensive set of electrical engineering and computer science texts right here.
This Rice University initiative advertises “free books, no catch.” Subjects of the 47 textbooks currently available cover the basics: math, sci- ence, social sciences, humanities, business and Advanced Placement. Each is developed by a crew of experts in the field and undergoes a “rigorous peer review process.” This nonprofit just keeps cranking out the content, saving some $600 million dollars for students since 2012, when its textbooks first appeared.
What we like: OpenStax CNX is an offshoot that serves as an online repository for user- submitted content, encouraging educators to share their work while still retaining recognition and attribution for their efforts. Content on the
site can be organized into mix-and-match text- books or used as additional curriculum. So far, the community-created content library has 20,000 learning objects, including some 2,100 “books,” groups of pages on a given topic.
Other Sites Worth Perusing
Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative
This catalog contains OER materials contribut- ed by 26 of the community colleges that are participating in a project focused on removing textbook affordability and access as obstacles to student success. The organization is doing that by using grant funding to engage faculty and their institutions in redesigning their cours- es and degree programs to use OER instead of proprietary textbooks.
What we like: Everything has been through a content and licensing review by Lumen Learn- ing, which hosts the textbooks.
BCcampus OpenEd
This project kicked off in 2013 to gather open textbooks aligned with the top 40 highest- enrolled subject areas in the province of British Columbia. In 2014, the effort expanded to add 20 other textbooks focused on the trades (such as mining and oil and gas), technology and skills training. Now the site puts out “calls for help”
to identify and fill in missing subjects. Currently, the collection has 277 textbooks.
What we like: A two-volume Greek and Latin Roots textbook developed by the late Professor Peter Smith at the University of Victoria (Cana- da). You had us at “fascinum.”
GALILEO Open Learning Materials
This abundance of learning materials was com- piled from the University System of Georgia. Choosing an academic subject leads the user to links for open textbooks along with ancillary materials and something called “grants collec- tions,” which can be downloaded in Word ver- sions for quick revision. Textbooks number about 60.

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