Finding Open Educational Resources for Teaching

Compiled by Gretchen Miller, Wake Technical Community College, and Carol Ormand, SERC, for the 2020 workshop for Early Career Faculty in the Geosciences, with additional resources suggested by Ben Laabs, North Dakota State University

Open Educational Resources (OERs) for college-level geoscience classes are becoming increasingly abundant and have numerous advantages for students and faculty. OERs include open textbooks, open online classes, instructional videos, and a variety of teaching and learning activities. This session discusses the value of OERs in terms of pedagogy, customization, and ease of integration, and provides time to explore how OERs may be used in your own courses. The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) website hosts a vast array of OERs for geoscience teaching and more. The page below provides a brief tour of OERs, as well as a few strategies for searching the SERC collections.

OER textbooks and courseware

If you are new to online teaching

Many faculty across the US (and the world) made a rapid transition to online teaching earlier this year. SERC put together a set of web resources to support geoscience faculty making that transition:

For introductory geoscience courses

On teaching a concept or skill across multiple courses

Of special interest for early career faculty

Ideas Compiled During This Session

On teaching methods

  • Expanding Your Teaching Toolkit is a page of resources to make your courses more interactive. If you're not sure where to begin, in terms of incorporating active learning pedagogies into your teaching, start here.
  • Pedagogy in Action aims to help faculty put into practice in the classroom what we've learned from research on learning. It includes detailed descriptions of the what, why and how of various teaching methods and has a collection of examples of teaching activities using each method. If you're ready to dive in, these pages are for you.

On teaching in particular situations

Strategies for searching SERC's collections