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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

Creating and Customizing Open Textbooks

Ask a Librarian

DeWitt Wallace Library is your connection to resources and finding answers to questions on the following:

  • Accessibility: incorporate accessibility at the initial design phase
  • CC Licenses: choose the appropriate license and better understand how you can reuse CC licensed materials
  • Community: create connections that can support open textbook creation and peer review of an open textbook
  • OER materials: find existing materials
  • Open Pedagogy: find examples and resources
  • Plan: outline the steps for OER creation or customization
  • Tools: explore and identify the tools and platforms for creating or finding open material
  • "Tough Questions:" we can help find the answers!

How to Guides: Using, modifying, and creating open textbooks

Making Open Textbooks - Rebus Community Playlist

"Making Open Textbooks" Rebus Playlist

This playlist offers a series of short, to-the-point videos summarizing the roles, models, and guidelines that make up the process of creating and publishing open textbooks. From project conception and rounding up a team of collaborators, to creating, editing, and reviewing your content, all the way through to release, marketing, adoptions, and revisions, these videos summarize the many steps along the way.

Tools for Creating OER

Tools for Creating OER

Below, is a short list of commonly used tools.

Need more? We are happy to set up a consultation with your Mac Academic Instructional Associate to explore additional options and to chat about your campus hosting needs.

Web Authoring


screenshot of Pressbooks About page

"Design your book from start to finish in just a few easy steps, and create beautiful print books, ebooks, and webbooks for any genre." Many of the books featured on this guide were created on the Pressbooks platform. Pressbooks are easy to structure like a textbook, easily incorporate online accessibility features, and export to a variety of formats, including PDF for print


Screenshot of Omeka homepage

"Omeka provides open-source web publishing platforms for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits."

WordPress, Google Sites, GitHub Pages

Use original or openly licensed content to create open course materials, for your class, and to share openly.
You can also guide your students through open pedagogy to create open educational materials as the final course learning product.

  • Wordpress - Contact Us  and we will arrange a meeting with Academic Technologists to get you set up with a campus hosted site–and to walk you through multiple considerations and best practices to help get your idea off of the ground
  • Google Sites - are user friendly with options to easily embed multi-media content. 
  • GitHub Pages Learning Lab - create static sites or blogs using html, css, or javascript from a GitHub repository

Web Annotation


Screenshot of Hypothesis page for educators

Hypothesis makes reading: visible, active, social –"We’re a nonprofit on a mission to bring an open conversation over the whole web. Use Hypothesis right now to hold discussions, read socially, organize your research, and take personal notes."

Interactive Content

H5P Plugin

screenshot of sample H5P content types: Accordion, Agamotto, Arithmetic Quiz, Audio Recorder, Chart, Collage

"H5P makes it easy to create interactive content by providing a range of content types for various needs. "