Skip to main content

OCAD U Library 2020 Summer

Open Textbooks during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As historically face-to-face courses shift toward remote delivery, many educators are turning to Open Educational Resources (OERs). When teaching in an online environment publisher copyright restrictions can limit the ways students may access digital materials. That's where OERs come in, utilizing the "5 Rs" open textbooks and other resources are designed for maximum flexibility:

  1. Reuse – use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  2. Revise – adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  3. Remix – combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  4. Redistribute – share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
  5. Retain – make, own, and control copies of the content

(This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at:

Librarian Lindsay Gumb, writing in New England Diary, notes that

OER providers such as  Lumen Learning, Saylor Academy and the Open Course Library have full online courses ready to be adopted and easily integrated into learning management systems with very little effort needed by faculty members. The content is customizable. Students have immediate, free access, and unlike publisher content, access to the content won’t be lost when the semester ends.

Explore OERs

eCampus Ontario Open Library: A curated collection of over 300 open textbooks. Many book pages include comprehensive reviews by Canadian professors.

MERLOT: (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) a collection of Open Educational Resources, including textbooks, at all levels. Many include peer reviews, user reviews, or editor reviews. MERLOT is a program of the California State University system.

BCcampus OpenED: Open textbooks for the 40 highest enrolled first- and second-year subject areas in British Columbia's public, post-secondary system.

Open Research Repository Update

As of May 4, 2020 there have been 223,168 downloads Open Research's nearly 2,000 research papers and other materials Recent deposits have included:

This is Research a poster campaign celebrating the diversity of research practice at OCAD U

Recent Onsite Gallery exhibition catalogues

Two recent papers by James Miller


How do I get my work archived in Open Research?

Contact Chris Landry, Scholarly Communications Librarian for assistance, or

Self-deposit at using your OCAD U login credentials. 

For info on self-deposit, see our self-deposit guide