Open Textbooks

What Are Open Educational Resources?

logo Open Educational Resources


"Open educational resources are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, including: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world." -OER Commons





If you are an instructor considering using Open Educational Resources in your class, please complete the OER Consultation Questionnaire.


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For more information, please contact Suzanne Wakim at or Rachel Arteaga at

Open Textbooks For Classes at Butte College:










Questions or comments? Please contact Suzanne Wakim at or Rachel Arteaga at

Open Educational Resources for Instructors

Find Open Textbooks:

California Online Open Library for Education (includes peer-reviewed open textbooks for the 50 most highly enrolled courses across CCC, CSU, and UC). Use this list to find faculty in disciplines mentioned in these 50 courses.

Merlot (an extensive collection of OER materials, ranging from textbooks to course modules)

OpenStax College (a collection of highly-rated open textbooks for higher education)

BCCampus (a search guide for open textbooks)

Butte College OER Coordinator’s list (a long list of additional places to look for OER)

What Are Open (Creative Commons) Licenses?

“The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.”  -Creative Commons


Are Open Textbooks Peer-Reviewed?

Yes. In some cases (like OpenStax) the text is peer reviewed in the same way as traditional textbooks. In other cases reviews can be found within the repositories where you search for the Texts. For Example, California Online Open Library for Education vets reviewers and asks them to use a specific rubric. These texts are also reviewed for accessibility. Merlot also has reviews of material; in order to review materials you must complete a training and vetting process to review materials on the site.


More Questions? Try These Links:

OER Commons FAQs

BC Campus FAQs



Case Studies of Open Textbook Use in Higher Education

“White Paper, OER Adoption Study: Using Open Educational Resources in the College Classroom” (California OER Council)

“Peggy Brickman, Textbook Hero” (video)

“Affordable Learning Georgia” (video)

“The Use of E-Textbooks in Higher Education: A Case Study” (Doering, et al)


Questions or comments? Please contact Suzanne Wakim at or Rachel Arteaga at


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.