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Affordable Learning Solutions / Open Educational Resources

Information about the Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) program and other Open Educational Resources (OERs)


Resources for Finding ALS/OER Materials

  • BCcampusOpenEd - The B.C. Open Textbook Collection is home to a growing selection of open textbooks for a variety of subjects and specialties. Discover open textbooks that have been reviewed by faculty, meet our accessibility requirements, and/or include ancillary materials (quizzes, test banks, slides, videos, etc.).

  • LibreTexts - LibreText's web-based origins allow powerful integration of advanced features such as embedded multimedia, dynamic figures, Jupyter, Hypothesis, Print on Demand, Complete Printed Version, One Minute Import into LMS, etc. It is up to instructors to decide which ones are the best fit for their classes.

  • Merlot - Search among 5,600 textbooks and over 80,000 open course materials. Can also create a course and add to Merlot collection.

  • Cool4Ed - Find many recommended textbooks and CA higher ed faculty reviews from the UC, CSU, and CCC.

  • JHSPH OPEN courseware - Find open public health courses and materials from John Hopkins University's Open Courseware.

  • OpenStax - Focuses mostly on mathematics and science.

  • Open Textbook Library - These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. Download for no cost, or print at low cost. All textbooks are either used at higher education institutions or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

  • Open SUNY Textbooks - Many disciplines, including Business, Education, English and Communication, General Studies, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

  • OER by Discipline Guide - Lists a broad range of open educational resources organized by disciplines at McMaster University.

  • OER Commons - A public digital library of open education resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world.

  • QUBES - Hosts hundreds of teaching materials, reference materials, and cloud-based software free to use and adapts using open Creative Commons licenses.

  • SkillsCommons - SkillsCommons’ mission is to accelerate the democratization of education for all through open educational services and resources enabling individuals, communities, educational institutions, organizations, and businesses to prepare people for successful employment in the 21st Century.

Are your course materials inclusive? culturally relevant? accessible? are they intentional OER?

Consider the following criteria when reviewing OER resources for adopting into your courses. The following is a common rubric to review OER textbooks from the Open Textbook Library's Open Textbooks Review Criteria.

Cultural Relevance The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Comprehensiveness The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
Content Accuracy Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
Clarity The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.
Consistency The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
Modularity The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
Organization/Structure/Flow The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
Interface The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.
Grammatical Errors The text contains no grammatical errors.


The below resources and their descriptions were created by the Open Language Resource Center. "The Open Language Resource Center (OLRC) is one of sixteen federally-funded National Foreign Language Resource Centers working to increase the nation’s capacity to teach and learn foreign languages.  Founded in 2018, the OLRC focuses on the creation of Open Educational Resources for language learners at the secondary and post-secondary level." Learn more about the Center here:

OER Projects from the Open Language Resource Center

Language Resource Titles
  • Le pont Resource for students to move from an intermediate level of proficiency to the advanced level.
  • Au Boulot! A beginning-level college French program consisting of two textbooks and four workbooks with an accompanying audio supplement and reference grammar guide.
  • Chapeau!. A beginning-level college French program consisting of a textbook and workbook with accompanying audio exercises.
Haitian Creole
Additional Languages


OER Database to Explore

Description of OER Database




Provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.



Part of Rice University, publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks that are absolutely free online and low cost in print. 

Collection focuses mostly on mathematics and science.




OER Commons

A public digital library of open education resources. Offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.



John Hopkins University Open Courseware

Find open public health courses and materials taught at the John Hopkins University. Content varies but generally includes a syllabus, lecture materials and reading lists.



OER Database to Explore

Description of OER Database

Strengths of the Collection

MERLOT: Social Work

Provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.

Allows you to browse the collection by discipline.

Mason OER Metafinder: Social Work

Launches a real-time, simultaneous search across 22 different sources of open educational materials as you hit the Search button. The results returned are up-to-the-minute for each search target. Additional results will continue to trickle in as the search continues running and you begin examining your results.

A distinct feature of the Mason OER Metafinder is the scope of discovery service. It searches well-known OER repositories like OpenStax, OER Commons, MERLOT but also sites like HathiTrust, DPLA, Internet Archive and NYPL Digital Collections where valuable but often overlooked (and often “open”) educational materials may be found.  


Open Social Work

Building information equity in social work with open educational resources and open access to research.

Provides textbooks potentially of interest to social work educators organized by core domains of social work education. 

Digital Commons Network: Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

Brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide.

Includes peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

Social Work Commons