Teaching Enhancement Unit

Learning Innovation Unit

Teaching Reflections

Useful Resources: Open Educational Resources (OER)

By Catherine Bruen, National Digital Learning Resources (NDLR) service

In this edition Catherine Bruen, manager of The National Digital Learning Resources
(NDLR) service has compiled some useful sources of freely available Open Educational Resources (OER) that can be used in your teaching.

What are OER?

OER are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use, and under some licenses to re-mix, improve and
redistribute. OER may include:

  • Learning content: full courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections and journals.
  • Tools: software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of learning content including searching and organization of content; content and learning management systems; content development tools; and online learning communities.
  • Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials; design-principles; and localisation of content.

Where can I find OER?

National Digital learning Resources (NDLR) Service for Ireland

The NDLR is a HEA funded service that supports the sharing of learning and teaching resources through subject discipline networks. Through the NDLR service you can find, share and discuss learning and teaching resources, shared by the Irish Higher Education community.

Carnegie Mellon University, Open Learning Initiative (OLI)

A collection of openly available and free online courses and course materials.

Open University, OpenLearn

Free access to the Open University’s course materials.

MIT Open Courseware

Free, searchable access to MIT’s course materials.

Rice University, Connexions

A space for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web to provide educational materials.

Community College Open Textbook Project

Collection of open access textbooks.

Commonwealth of Learning, Learning Object Repository

Online database of learning content compiled by searching across a number of open content repositories.

Gateway to Educational Materials

Access to thousands of educational resources found on various federal, state, university, nonprofit, and commercial Internet sites.


Aims to be a central site for the collaborative development of OERs, research on the use of OERs, and planning of educational projects that involve OERs.

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