Open educational resources (OER) are dependent on the idea of community and knowledge-sharing. This guide chapter collects a series of resources that will help you find OERs to adopt, revise and remix and successfully create or adapt OER material using Pressbooks.
Pressbooks Guides and Resources
We maintain the following Pressbooks-specific help resources to help our users accomplish their goals with our software. Most resources are designed and intended for general users, but some are specific to network managers or other users with special roles.
For end users
- Pressbooks User Guide: Our large and ever-growing guide to using Pressbooks. Most general questions about getting started with Pressbooks and using its many features to customize and publish OER and other learning material will be answered here.
- Pressbooks Knowledge Base: We maintain several KB-style articles designed to help users quickly answer common questions they have about using Pressbooks. This help center includes an FAQ, a section on book creation more generally, and much more.
- Pressbooks YouTube Channel: For those who prefer to watch and learn, the Pressbooks YouTube channel contains video tutorials for several popular features in Pressbooks. The channel also includes recordings of many of our past training and informational webinars.
- Pressbooks Webinars: We host live and virtual monthly webinars over Zoom for end users on our hosted Pressbooks networks. More information about webinar topics, intended audience and an upcoming schedule can be found at the link. Unless otherwise noted, these webinars are only open to users of hosted Pressbooks networks.
- Pressbooks Community Forum: We maintain an open, public forum for all Pressbooks users to discuss issues related to our software and its usage. We encourage users and community members to support one another and contribute to the forum however they’re best able.
For network managers
- Pressbooks Network Manager’s Guide: This guide to running and administering a Pressbooks network, which should answer general questions you have about how to manage your network.
- Pressbooks Webinars: We host live and virtual monthly webinars over Zoom for network managers on our hosted Pressbooks networks. Typically, at least one webinar covering how to administer and run a Pressbooks network is offered each month. More information about topics and dates can be found at the link.
- Monthly Product Update: On the last Thursday of each month, our product manager hosts a live and virtual webinar over Zoom to share recent product updates, talk about new features in development, and facilitate a community roundtable. This meeting is open to all who are interested in attending, though attendees tend to me network managers of hosted EDU or open source networks.
- Community of Practice: Network managers of our hosted Pressbooks networks are also invited to join a private group on our larger community forum which serves as a Community of Practice for users with this role. See the dedicated chapter of this guide for more details.
OER Repositories and Directories
There are several repositories and search tools that you can use to find high-quality OER. This list is not comprehensive, but should provide a good starting point for most people looking to adopt or adapt material for use in Pressbooks:
- Pressbooks Directory: The Pressbooks Directory contains an extensive collection of thousands of publicly available books created with Pressbooks. Our guide contains a chapter on finding books of interest with the Pressbooks Directory.
- eCampus Ontario Open Library: eCampusOntario maintains a curated collection of more than 550 openly licensed resources aligned with top subject areas in post-secondary education, many of which have been published using Pressbooks and can be quickly and easily cloned for local use elsewhere.
- B.C. Open Textbook Collection: BCcampus maintains a large and growing collection of more than 300 open textbooks for a variety of subjects and specialties, many of which have been published using Pressbooks and can be quickly cloned and adapted for local use elsewhere.
- Open Textbook Library: The Open Textbook Library is a collection of more than 800 open textbooks for a variety of subjects, many of which have been published using Pressbooks. Entries in the collection typically include links to online and downloadable formats of the book, as well as structured reviews submitted by instructors who have reviewed the text using pre-supplied criteria. This collection is maintained by the Open Education Network.
- OpenStax: OpenStax is is a nonprofit educational technology initiative based at Rice University in Texas. OpenStax has published dozens of high-quality, peer reviewed, openly-licensed textbooks for commonly taught introductory college subjects. Many of the OpenStax books have been imported into Pressbooks by BCcampus, Lumen Learning, and other users.
- LibreTexts: LibreTexts provides free access to more than 400 texts across a variety of disciplines, with an early emphasis on chemistry and other STEM disciplines. The libraries are supported by a nonprofit organization founded by UC-Davis Chemistry professor Delmar Larsen.
- MERLOT: MERLOT provides a curated repository of 90,000+ online learning and support materials, many of which are openly licensed. Their repository features peer reviews and a user rating system, as well as faceted search. MERLOT is a program of the California State University System.
- OER Commons: OER Commons is “a public digital library of open educational resources” containing tens of thousands of openly licensed teaching & learning resources along with search and discovery tools. OER Commons is hosted and maintained by ISKME, a California-based nonprofit organization.
- The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM): This search tool allows users to perform a real-time, federated search of more than 20 different sources of open educational materials, including OpenStax, OER Commons, MERLOT, and other repositories which contain public domain and openly licensed material. The search tool is maintained by librarians at George Mason University.
- OASIS: This search tool searches for open content from among several hundred thousand records provided by more than 100 different sources. OASIS is maintained by librarians at SUNY Geneseo.
Resources for OER
Looking for resources about resources? We’ve got you covered. Many people outside of the Pressbooks team have created comprehensive and helpful guides for how to publish OERs and guides to using Pressbooks as a platform for educational content creation. We recommend the following to any educator looking to learn more about how to build and publish open textbooks.
List of OER and Pressbooks guides
- BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit, Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, and Tara Robertson, BCcampus Open Education
- Introduction to Web Accessibility, Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University
- Professional Web Accessibility Auditing Made Easy, Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University
On authoring OERs
- The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far), Rebus Community
- The OER Starter Kit, Abbey Elder, Iowa State University
- Authoring Open Textbooks, Melissa Falldin & Karen Lauritsen, Open Education Network
- A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students, Robin DeRosa, Rajiv Jhangiani, Timothy Robbins, David Squires, et al., Rebus Community
- Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know, Cheryl Cuillier, Amy Hofer, Annie Johnson, Kathleen Labadorf, et al., Open Education Network
- The Evolution of Affordable Content Efforts in the Higher Education Environment: Programs, Case Studies, and Examples, Kristi Jensen and Shane Nackerud, Editors, University of Minnesota
- Self-Publishing Guide, Lauri Aesoph, BCcampus Open Education
- Print-on-Demand Guide, Lauri Aesoph, BCcampus Open Education
- Faculty OER Toolkit, Shannon Moist, BCcampus Open Education
- UH OER Training, William Meinke, UH OER
- OER Activity Sourcebook, Naomi Salmon, UW-Madison
Studies and Toolkits for OERs
- The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics (2018), International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
- The OER Toolkit, The Learning Portal, College Libraries Ontario