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Faculty/staff guide to Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

This guide is designed to help TCC faculty and staff find, create, evaluate, and incorporate open educational resources for instructional and training purposes.

What's in this guide? I want to know more about...

I want to know... how to use this guide.

OER for teaching, learning, and research graphic

What's the purpose of this guide?

The purpose of this Faculty Guide to OER is to help TCC faculty and staff:

  • understand major OER-related concepts
  • find, evaluate, attribute, and integrate open educational resources for instruction
  • know who to contact for OER support
  • learn about TCC's open culture and infrastructure, including the OE Steering Group
  • access TCC's OER-related documents, forms, and reports

Use this guide to:


If you're not sure where to start, this box you're in right now contains sub-tabs that mirror the tabs in the navigation menu above. The (grey) sub-tabs in this content box provide a quick preview of each page in this guide, so you can get a sense of the types of information you will learn and resources available on that specific page. 


If you've been here before, feel free to go straight to the (blue) tabs in the top navigation menu above and browse for the information you're looking for.


Please note that most pages in this guide start with basic concept definitions (e.g. the "Open pedagogy" page opens with a definition of the concept), followed by resources and examples.


Whenever possible, TCC-specific examples, resources, and stories are integrated throughout the guide.

I want to know... more about my OER librarian.

Below is a short video introduction I created in Fall 2020 to introduce myself, what I can do as your OER librarian, and how to contact me.

Image source: Adapted from "OER is sharing" graphic by Giulia Forsythe is licensed under CC0 (public domain)

I want to know... what OER is and why it matters.

oer logo

On the "OER basics" page

  • Learn what "OER" means
  • Watch a video about OER basics
  • Watch a video about why open education matters
  • Explore links to modules and tutorials to learn more about OER

Image source: "oer_logo_EN_1" by Breno Trautwein is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I want to know about... common OER myths.

OER mythbusting

On the "OER myths" page, explore:

  • Common OER myths
  • Misperceptions and potential barriers
  • A PDF guide to OER mythbusting
  • Additional links and info about each common myth

Image source: "OER Mythbusting!," OER Policy for Europe project, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.

I want to know... how to find OER in my field.

OER books graphic

On the "Find OER" page, explore curated starting points to find OER, including:

  • TCC Library's OER subject guides
  • OER repositories and reviews
  • Discipline-specific OER
  • Open textbooks and journals
  • Openly licensed multimedia (images, video, and audio)

Image source:  “Is licensing really the most important question for OER?” by is licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

I want to know about... OER starting points for TCC courses and programs.

In the "TCC OER subject guides" page, you will find:

  • An ever-expanding list of OER subject guides created specifically for, and in collaboration with, TCC faculty
  • OER starting points for a range of subject areas across the curriculum
  • How to help improve TCC Library's OER subject guides
  • How to contact the faculty OER librarian

Please note that the "TCC OER subject guides" page opens in a new window. These guides are also integrated into the "Find OER" page, linked above.

I want to know about... how to evaluate OER for potential use in my area/course.

Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayOn the "Evaluate OER" page:

  • review evaluation questions to ask yourself when assessing OER for potential use
  • review OER evaluation and accessibility rubric samples
  • browse for OER on OER sites with peer and accessibility reviews

Image source: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I want to know about... open licenses.


On the "OER licenses" page, learn:

  • What an "open license" is
  • Types of Creative Commons (CC) licenses and acronyms
  • Types of public domain licenses
  • Differences between CC licenses, public domain, and traditional copyright

I want to know... how to give credit to OER that I use or create.

Basic form for the Open Attribution Builder

On the "OER attributions" page, learn:

  • What an "attribution" is
  • The basic formula for attribution statements
  • Online tools to help you create attributions, like the Open Attribution Builder tool seen here

I want to know... what "open access" means.

Open access logo              On the "Open access" page:

  • learn what open access is
  • understand how "open access" is different from "open license"
  • browse open access repositories

I want to know... how to use OER in Canvas.

Screenshot of Open Attribution Builder tool in Canvas toolbar

On the "OER and Canvas" page, learn:

  • How to use the "Open Attribution Builder" tool that's integrated into Canvas
  • How to attribute images in Canvas
  • How to attribute videos in Canvas
  • How to attribute/cite yourself as well as OER you use created by others
  • How to openly license your own courses in Canvas

I want to know about... open pedagogy.

5 Rs of open pedagogy

On the "Open pedagogy" page, learn:

  • What "open pedagogy" is
  • Spectrum of open practice
  • Examples of open, renewable student-driven assignments -- including examples from TCC students!
  • Browse e-book titles about open pedagogy

Image source: "5 Rs of open pedagogy" by Rajiv Jhangiani, CC BY SA 4.0

I want to know about... using library resources in courses.

TCC library logo

On the "Library resources" page, learn:

  • How library resources fit into the OER landscape
  • How library resources can fill in the gaps as supplemental course resources
  • How to embed or link to library videos and articles within Canvas courses
  • How librarians are leading the way in OER
  • Browse e-book titles about OER and open pedagogy

I want to know about... copyright and fair use.

"Copyright blue" is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

In the separate "Copyright" LibGuide, learn about:

  • Copyright
  • Fair use
  • Practical applications
  • Guidance on how to seek and obtain permission to use materials
  • How to contact TCC's copyright officer for further questions

Please note that the "Copyright" LibGuide opens in a new window.

Image source: "Copyright blue" is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

I want to know about... OER support @ TCC.

Open books graphic

On the "OER Support @ TCC" page, learn about:

  • Different kinds of OER support @ TCC
  • How Library faculty and eLearning staff can help support faculty in different ways
  • TCC's OE Steering Group members and vision

Image source:  "Open Books Image" by Sami Kerzel is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

I want to know... where to find TCC's OER documents, reports, and forms.

Graphic of document and OER magnifying glass

On the "OER documents" page, find:

  • The "Student Release of Course Materials" form to use in your classes
  • FAQs about OER/low cost course labeling
  • OE Steering Group documents and reports
  • How to request print copy options for OER textbooks with the TCC Bookstore
  • White paper on OE impact on pathways to completion

Image source:  OER report image via SkillsCommons site is licensed under CC BY 4.0

I want to know... how to provide Print on Demand options for my students.

OER books graphic            On this "Print on Demand" page:

  • learn what Print on Demand is
  • check if your OER course materials are eligible (or not) for Print on Demand
  • request a Print on Demand option for your OER course materials through the Bookstore
  • know who to contact for Print on Demand support

Image source: "Is licensing really the most important question for OER?" image by, CC BY SA license

I want to know about... OER stories and experiences from students and faculty.

Screenshot of TCC student video about OER

On the "OER stories" page, view:

  • Personal stories from TCC students about OER and open pedagogy assignments
  • Personal stories from TCC faculty about using OER
  • Experiences from community college faculty about adopting and teaching with OER

Image source: Screenshot of "My OER experience" by JoAnne Eller, Tacoma Community College, from OpenWa, 2014, licensed under CC BY 4.0

I want to know... how to share OER info with my students.

OER transforms access for students graphic

On the separate "Student Guide to OER" LibGuide designed for students, TCC students will learn about:

  • What "OER" means and related concepts like "copyright," "open licenses," the "5 R's," "public domain," and more
  • How to find OER for educational support
  • How to find multimedia OER (images, videos, and audio) for assignments
  • How to cite OER
  • How to look up courses @ TCC that use OER (no-cost) or low-cost (<$50) textbooks
  • Who to contact for OER support @ TCC
  • TCC student stories about learning with OER and engaging in open pedagogy assignments

Please note that the "Student Guide to OER" LibGuide opens in a new window.

Image source: Adapted from "OER is sharing" graphic by Giulia Forsythe is licensed under CC0 (public domain)

OER Librarian

Profile Photo
Jennifer Snoek-Brown
Email: (the fastest way to contact me)
Phone: 253.460.3936 (forwards to my email)
Book an appointment Click the "book now" button above to book a personal appointment with me via Zoom.

TCC Library Research Chat

RESEARCH CHAT FALL QUARTER HOURS (September 20 - December 9):

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm

Friday: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

Closed: November 11, November 24 - 26


Except where otherwise noted, the content in this guide by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0. Please see sub-pages for any additional attributions.

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087