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Open Educational Resources (OER) Toolkit

A selection of the support and resources available to the Macalester community through the library and through the OER community


This toolkit offers a handpicked set of information and resources for the Macalester College Community, especially for faculty that are interested in learning more about:

  • open educational resources 
  • OER enabled pedagogies
  • the greater community that has formed around using and creating openly available course materials.

How would you like your courses to grow?...explore new possibilities...

Defining OER

What are Open Educational Resources?

OER materials share these two attributes:

  • freely available or by a nominal fee online or in print
  • openly licensed for reuse, customization (remixing), and redistribution

UNESCO’s definition:

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.”

Find more like this on the "Getting Started" tab:


OER at Mac

What's Happening at Mac?

Open Textbook Creation:

Britt Abel, Director of Writing, Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching & Associate Professor (NTT), Department of German and Russian Studies, is Co-Project Director of Grenzenlos Deutsch, German Language Open Education Curriculum. This OER, authored by faculty from a variety of institutions, has included support from individuals in the Macalester Art and Art History Department, Information Technology Services, and the DeWitt Wallace Library. The project was funded through an NEH grant. It incorporates inclusive, interactive content and has accessibility features built in.

Open Educational Practices and Resources:

Awarded a library OER Stipend, Sonia Mehta has been iteratively writing and using an open textbook for her class, Building Trust: Education in Global Perspective. The text creation stemmed from the lack of textbooks on this topic at the undergraduate level. In addition, Sonia incorporates Open Education Practices / Pedagogy into the class by creating a community of learners both in the classroom and across the world. Students also demonstrate agency and ownership of their learning through an infographic assignment.

Online publication forthcoming

Adopting OER:

Joan Ostrove and Ariel James have adopted the open Psychology course content from NOBA for their classes.


Have ideas and questions?

We want to know!

  • Are you usingcustomizing, creating open educational resources / open textbooks?
  • In your perfect class, what would your students and you be able to do?
  • Do you have ideas or questions?

Enter your ideas, thoughts and questions to your local OER Support Librarians:

Mac OER Share and Ask form