One-Stop-Shop for OER

Back to Finding More OERs


CC licensed (BY) Flickr photo shared by David Amsler modified by Paul Stacey

OER come in a wide variety of types. Many educators are simply looking for individual media elements to use within their courses, such as photos, graphics, videos, and audio, that are openly licensed in a way that freely permits education use.  Other educators are looking for online curriculum modules to augment their courses, complete etextbooks to replace a publisher’s textbook or curriculum for the complete coursework (call open courseware).

The “one-stop-shop” of OER collections is meant to provide users easy access to the wide range of OER collections. Explore and reuse the OER!

Need help applying the proper attribution to your material?

OPEN Attribution Builder is a free online Attribution Builder available from Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC).







Openly Licensed Media Elements

To jump directly to openly licensed media elements to use within your courses, use these links:

General Search

Photo/Image Search

Video Search

Audio/Music Search

Openly Licensed Course Curriculum

To jump directly to openly licensed course curriculum, use these links:

General Education Search

Recorded Lectures & Video Tutorials Search

Open Textbook Search

Simulation and Animation Search

Modular Course Components Search

Complete Courses Search

It is unlikely that you will find OER that perfectly fit your needs. In looking at OER remember that most OER can used in whole or in part and/or modified and customized to fit your specific needs (except for resources with a “No-Derivatives” license).

Feel free to send us your favorite OER resources. Send your feedback and suggestions to

1. General Search

1.1 Google


Many people start out looking for OER using Google. A general search with Google returns vast amounts of resources, most of which are not openly licensed for reuse. If you want to use Google to search for openly licensed resources we recommend you use:

Google Advanced Search

Scroll down in advanced search and set “usage rights” parameters to be “Free to use, share, or modify”.

If you want content for commercial use be sure to select the appropriate option.

Google search returns a vast array of openly licensed resources that may require extensive sifting to yield useful nuggets. The other search recommendations on this page are likely to yield more targeted results.

1.2 CC Search


CC Search, the Creative Commons search tool, lets you pick a range of general sources and media types which you want to search for. Give it a try at:

CC Search

The CC Search tool automatically filters your search to find Creative Commons licensed resources that you can share, use, and remix.

2. Photo/Image Search

Searching for photos or images?

2.1 CC Image Search

Creative Commons

Use this prototype to find images that you can use and remix, across several open archives. Give us your feedback, and help us design a front door to the commons. Give it a try at:

CC Search

If you prefer to do your searches directly from these sources direct links to each of these image sources are provided below. If you choose to do your search directly from the image source sites be sure to set the parameters of your search to define openly licensed usage rights and review the usage rights associated with any image you find.

2.2 Wikimedia Commons


Wikimedia Commons

2.3 Flickr



2.4 Google Images


Google Images

Be sure to scroll down in advanced search and set “usage rights” parameters to be “Free to use, share, or modify”.

If you want content for commercial use be sure to select the appropriate option.

2.5 Pixabay



Note, that Pixabay images are public domain images you can freely use for personal and commercial use without attribution to the original author. While Pixabay can be a good way to find public domain images your search will also return proprietary professional images Pixabay offers for sale.

2.6 Clip Sarfari

Clip Safari


ClipSafari is a repository for high quality clip art images. These vector graphics files are suitable for all contexts, because they scale up to any resolution without becoming blurry. Many of these graphic files were sourced from the Open Clipart Project.

2.7 Open Clip Art Library


Open Clip Art Library

Note, that Open Clip Art Library images are public domain images you can freely use for personal and commercial use without attribution to the original author.

2.8 Fotopedia



To find images openly licensed click “advanced options” in the top, right-hand side screen. Change the “any license” to an open license – reuse, commercial and modification options available.

2.9 The Noun Project


The Noun Project is a platform empowering the community to build a global visual language of icons and symbols that everyone can understand. Symbols and icons on The Noun Project are licensed using Creative Commons.

The sources above are online image databases. In addition to these sources there are many openly licensed electronic publications and journals with images embedded throughout that you are also free to use. Here are just a few of many examples:

2.10 Encyclopedia of Life


The Encyclopedia of Life is an online collaborative encyclopedia providing global access to knowledge about biological life on earth. Entries are composed as written content with one or more pictures usually in the form of colour photographs. Content is provided by a wide variety of contributors but is reviewed for accuracy. All content on EOL is licensed under Creative Commons (CC) licenses, but each contributor defines what level of CC licensing is applicable to their content. Specific licensing information can be found adjacent to media or by clicking on desired media. If no reuse information is included then it is understood that there are no reuse restrictions other than providing credit when reusing the image.

2.11 Public Library of Science (PLOS)


PLOS is a non-profit publisher and advocacy organization focused on science and medicine. Every article they publish is open access. All written content and images are licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution license. Searching through PLOS journals and collections can yield many highly useful images including figures, tables, and graphs.

In addition to electronic publications and journals some galleries, museums and archives publish historical images online. For a great example see:

2.12 Europeana


Europeana provides access to the digital resources of Europe’s museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections including paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects. Not all the works are openly licensed so be sure to check for usage rights.

2.13 Unsplash

Unsplash logo

Unsplash – Free (do whatever you want) hi-res photos.

2.14 Deeper Learning Image Search

Deeper Learning Image Search

Deeper Learning Image Search – A free library of images celebrating student learning and teacher collaboration in five schools across the United States.

3. Video Search

Searching for video? Try:

3.1 YouTube


The best way to find a video that is licensed under the Creative Commons license on YouTube is to use the CC Search tool described above in the General Search and Photo/Image Search sections. Unfortunately YouTube does not provide a filter or advanced search capability on their home page for finding all YouTube Creative Commons licensed videos. However, lets you see the most viewed and most reused Creative Commons licensed videos. In addition if you are the YouTube home page and type in your search term followed by a comma and then “creativecommons” the videos returned are CC licensed. You can mark your videos with a Creative Commons license when uploading them to YouTube. You can also incorporate the millions of Creative Commons-licensed videos on YouTube when creating your own videos using the YouTube Video Editor. Within the YouTube Video Editor you can click on the CC tab to find content available under a Creative Commons license.

3.2 Vimeo


Vimeo lets you easily post and find Creative Commons licensed videos.

3.3 Internet Archive


The Internet Archive has a great collection of old video and movie footage. Looking for old cartoons, sports videos, ephemeral films, news footage? Check out the Internet Archive.

3.4 Ted – Ideas Worth Spreading


TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. On, the best talks and performances from TED and partners are made available to the world, for free. More than 900 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

3.5 Al Jazeera


The Al Jazeera Creative Common Repository hosts select broadcast quality footage that Al Jazeera has released under various Creative Commons licenses. Select Al Jazeera video footage is available for free to be downloaded, shared, remixed, subtitled and eventually rebroadcasted by users and TV stations across the world with acknowledgement to Al Jazeera. This is the first time that video footage produced by a news broadcaster is released under the ‘Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution’ license which allows for commercial and non-commercial use.

4. Audio/Music Search

Searching for openly licensed audio sounds or music? Try:

4.1 Jamendo


Jamendo offers more than 350,000 free music tracks licensed under Creative Commons, all available for streaming and unlimited download without ads. It allows the public to discover thousands of artists of all genres who have chosen to distribute their music independently outside the traditional system of collecting societies. Jamendo artists can choose to join the Jamendo PRO service that allows them to sell commercial licenses of their music for professional uses, such as music synchronization for audio-visual productions or broadcasting in public spaces. You can search for music on Jamendo using the CC Search tool or directly on the Jamendo web site.

4.2 ccMixter


ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want. Looking for music for a video, school project, game you’re developing, or podcast? Find music liberally licensed – using dig.ccMixter music discovery tool.

4.3 Internet Archive


In addition to video mentioned above the Internet Archive has a great collection of audio. Searching for animal sounds, old time radio shows, sound effects and even music. The Internet Archive may have what you’re looking for.

4.4 Free Music Archive


The Free Music Archive offers free downloads under Creative Commons and other licenses. Please visit the track page to discover what you can and cannot do with each track.

4.5 SoundCloud


SoundCloud is a social sound platform for people to create and share music and sounds. Recording and uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets people easily share them privately with their friends or publicly to blogs, sites and social networks. Many SoundCloud songs and sounds are licensed with Creative Commons. Use the url to see SoundCloud sounds and songs licensed with Creative Commons.

Education Search

The search tools profiled above are for educators who are simply looking for individual media elements to use within their courses. However, an even higher value can be gained by finding Open Educational Resources (OER) that other educators have already vetted and assembled into education content such as full courses, workshops, textbooks, tests and assessments. This search section is focused on helping you find this kind of OER.

5. General Education Search

Looking to search across multiple OER initiatives? Try:



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 provides collections of peer reviewed online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. Most, but not all, Merlot resources are Creative Commons licensed.



MERLOTx is MERLOT’s new student portal, created to help students easily find resources to support their learning goals. It is a FREE, open online collection of almost 70,000 quality online learning resources across a wide range of disciplines. MERLOTx connects you to an open online community of learners and teachers from around the world, with almost 140,000 members.

5.3 OER Commons


OER Commons has forged alliances with over 120 major content partners to provide a single point of access through which educators and learners can search across collections to access over 30,000 items, find and provide descriptive information about each resource, and retrieve the ones they need. These resources are publicly available for all to use principally through Creative Commons licensing.

5.4 The Orange Grove Digital Repository


The Orange Grove digital repository provides an environment for educators to search for, use, remix, share, and contribute educational resources. A wide range of K-12 and post-secondary resources are available. The repository can also be integrated with a Learning Management Systems (e.g., Blackboard, Desire 2 Learn, Canvas) . Resources are free for educational use but may be protected through various copyright statements associated with each resource.

5.5 Money Smart

FDIC Money Smart

Money Smart is a comprehensive financial education curriculum designed to help low- and moderate-income individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships. Money Smart has reached over 3 million consumers since 2001. Research shows that the curriculum can positively influence how consumers manage their finances, and these changes are sustainable in the months after the training. Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals, families, and entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well-being.

6. Recorded Lectures & Video Tutorials Search

Many institutions have recorded on-campus lectures and published them as OER licensed with Creative Commons. Short video tutorials on a particular subject are also available.

Searching for recorded lectures or video tutorials? Try:

6.1 Open Yale Courses


Open Yale Courses (OYC) provide lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses licensed using Creative Commons. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided.

6.2 MIT


MIT has their own MIT YouTube channel where recorded lectures are uploaded.

MIT is also well known for the MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative, a Creative Commons licensed web-based publication of virtually all MIT on campus course content online including lecture notes, exams, and videos. Courses with substantial video and/or audio components are listed here.

6.3 UC Berkeley


UC Berkeley’s webcast.berkeley is a central service for online video and audio lectures. From the home page you can search for a particular course or simply choose to view all courses. Video and audio lectures are licensed as Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) and made available through YouTube and/or iTunes.

6.4 Khan Academy


The Khan Academy has a large library of videos covering math, biology, chemistry, physics and even the humanities, finance and history. Khan videos aren’t so much recorded lectures as short 10 minute long tutorials with an instructor narrating explanations and working things out on a board by hand on your computer screen. Check out Khan’s library of videos.

7. Open Textbook Search

Searching for open textbooks? Try:

7.1 COOL4Ed


California Open Online Library for Education ( is a website focused on free and open textbooks, with over 1,200 free etextbooks with Creative Commons licenses. The website also provides ePortfolios for faculty showcasing how they use open textbooks in their courses as well as showcasing “standard” courses with free and open textbooks related to the courses and faculty reviews of the quality of the etextbooks.

7.2 University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library


Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network.

7.3 College Open Textbooks


The Community College Open Textbooks Collaborative, funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services. As part of their service they provide a listing of Open Textbooks by Subject.

7.4 Open Stax College


OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. OpenStax free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of courses. See the free, open, high quality textbooks they provide here.

7.5 Siyavula


Siyavula supports and encourages communities of teachers to work together, openly share their teaching resources and benefit from the use of technology. Siyavula has created a series of open textbooks for math and science Grades 10-12. They have also developed an online practice service, modeled on exam questions, which allows learners to practice math and science questions they may find in their tests and exams. This practice service is well integrated with the Siyavula textbooks and these resources work together to ensure learners excel in Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Learners are able to practice using their mobile phones or computers.

7.6 CK-12


CK-12 offers free high-quality, standards-aligned, open content in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects. By providing these free resources, CK-12 is working toward educational equity for all. CK-12 provides an integrated set of tools for learning including digital textbooks, concept-based learning, SAT prep, and interactive Algebra curriculum (with additional math and science subjects in progress). CK-12 resources are openly licensed using Creative Commons.

7.7 Boundless


Boundless is offering services that use OER to create a free replacement to a student’s assigned textbook that covers the same key concepts more efficiently. Boundless is currently focused on AP High School and Introductory level College courses in the following 8 subjects: American History, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Business, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, and Writing. They are planning to expand into more subjects.

8. Simulation and Animation Search

8.1 PhET


PhET provides fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free. PhET simulations enable students to make connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the physical world. All PhET simulations are freely available from the PhET website and are easy to use and incorporate into the classroom. They are written in Java and Flash, and can be run using a standard web browser as long as Flash and Java are installed. The PhET Interactive Simulations are distributed under the Creative Commons-Attribution 3.0 license and the Creative Commons GNU General Public License. Here’s a list of PhET simulations.

8.2 CSU Virtual Labs

Virtual Labs in the CSU

Virtual Labs in the California State University: Cal State and MERLOT provide a “teaching commons” for faculty and students to find virtual labs in STEM disciplines. These virtual labs range from OER, free, and fee-based resources.

9. Modular Course Components

Searching for modular course components? Try:



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 provides collections of peer reviewed online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. Most, but not all, Merlot resources are Creative Commons licensed.

9.2 Connexions


Connexions is a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. Anyone may view or contribute. Content is licensed with Creative Commons.

9.3 Curriki


Curriki is a leading K-12 global community for teachers, students, and parents to create, share, and find open learning resources that improve teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. Curriki has OER for Arts, Career & Technical Education, Education, Educational Technology, Health, Information & Media Literacy, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Languages all licensed using Creative Commons.

9.4 WikiEducator


WikiEducator is a community project working collaboratively with the Free Culture Movement towards a free version of the education curriculum. Driven by the learning for development agenda WikiEducator focuses on:

  • building capacity in the use of Mediawiki and related free software technologies for mass-collaboration in the authoring of free content
  • developing free content for use in schools, polytechnics, universities, vocational education institutions and informal education settings
  • facilitating the establishment of community networks and collaboration with existing free content initiatives in education
  • fostering new technologies that will widen access, improve quality and reduce the cost associated with providing education, primarily through the use of free content

The OERu initiative taking place in WikiEducator is a virtual collaboration of like-minded institutions committed to creating flexible pathways for OER learners to gain formal academic credit.

9.5 Wikiversity


Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning. Wikiversity has thousands of learning resources licensed with Creative Commons.

9.6 Jorum


Jorum is a JISC-funded Service in Development in UK Further and Higher Education, to collect and share learning and teaching materials, allowing their reuse and repurposing. This free online repository service forms a key part of the JISC Information Environment, and is intended to become part of the wider landscape of repositories being developed institutionally, locally, regionally or across subject areas. Jorum contains learning and teaching resources, shared on a worldwide basis under the terms of a Creative Commons (CC) Attribution Non-Commercial licence. The creators and owners of this content are willing and are able to share their content on this basis

10. Complete Courses

Searching for complete courses?

Have a look through these OER initiatives from around the world:

10.1 Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative


The Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering innovative, Creative Commons licensed, online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. OLI’s courses are delivered on their unique platform which uses student data to generate targeted feedback. Courses range from French language to biology, statistics, programming and more. See for a description of OLI services you can tap in to.

10.2 Open Course Library


The Open Course Library is a collection of expertly developed educational materials – including textbooks, syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments – in 81 high-enrollment college courses. 42 courses have been completed so far, providing faculty with a high-quality, affordable option that will cost students no more than $30 for textbooks. All materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license unless otherwise noted. Open Course Library is an initiative of the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. See for a description of SBCTC services you can tap in to.

10.3 MIT OpenCourseWare


MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT campus based course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. Courses are Creative Commons licensed.

10.4 OpenCourseWare Consortium Search


Several universities publish their course materials for free online, under the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative, as described on the OpenCourseWare Consortium website. OCW Search is an independent search engine that indexes all these courses so you can find these courses faster. Currently, the following universities’ OCW are included in OCW Search:


– Stanford Engineering Everywhere

– Open University LearningSpace

– University of Massachusetts (UMass) – Boston

– University of Tokyo

– Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

– School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins

– Notre Dame

– Delft University of Technology

– Yale University

10.5 UK Open University Learning Space


The UK Open University Learning Space has 600 free online courses available from introductory to postgraduate level. All courses are licensed with Creative Commons.

10.6 Saylor

saylor is a free and open collection of college level courses developed by a team of experienced college professors to fulfill the same learning objectives as traditional college courses. Courses are licensed using Creative Commons.

10.7 Open Education Consortium


The Open Education Consortium is a global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. The Open Education Consortium is a non-profit, social benefit organization registered in the United States and operating worldwide.

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This is a partial listing of OER sources which we hope you find useful. We welcome additions or revisions to this listing. Send your feedback and suggestions to Special thanks to Jennifer Freeman and Deborah Zulick of the Massachusetts Community College/Workforce Development Transformation Agenda for sharing their list of OER sources.

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This work “One-Stop-Shop for OER” is a derivative of “Find OER” by Paul Stacey of Creative Commons used under CC BY 4.0 and is licensed by the California State University-Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This workforce solution was created through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the California State University-Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT).