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Open Educational Resources Guide: What is OER?

A Leeward Faculty guide to OER

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are no-cost or low-cost online learning materials which can be reused, revised, remixed, redistributed, and retained.  These are the 5 Rs of OER. OERs can be all types of materials - not just textbooks - including curricula, syllabi, learning modules, course assignments, exams, as well as audio and visual objects.

Learn more about Leeward's OER initiative at the Leeward OER website.

More info about OER at the University of Hawai'i Community Colleges System is found in the 2019-20 OER Initiative Annual Report.

Watch this short video: Why Open Education Matters.

Use this guide to discover representative examples of OER. Use the tabs above to navigate through this guide. If you don't find a resource that meets your needs, don't give up. Contact a librarian to discuss your specific requirements and we'll help you find more that's out there.

Still unsure? See OER myths debunked in OER Mythbusting.

While this guide is designed to support faculty needs, the information and resources described within are there to benefit you by making a college education more affordable. Contact your Leeward Student Government if you are interested in getting involved in advocating for no-cost and affordable textbooks in the classroom.

Have you heard of TXT0 (Textbook Cost = $0)? See below for more information. The Textbook Cost: $0 Class List resource allows you to search for classes that do not require the purchase of course learning materials.

For Faculty - How Do I Start?

Ask yourself these questions as you begin to explore Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • Do you want to improve student success?
  • Do you want to reduce/eliminate course material costs for students?
  • Do you have the required computer and Internet skills? 

If you answered yes to the above questions, you are ready to begin.

  • Start by looking through this guide for materials in your subject area. 
  • Ask a Librarian for help finding materials. 
  • Consider scheduling an initial meeting so we can help you to get started.  Email Junie Hayashi, or Wayde Oshiro,

To learn more about Open Education, see these OER resources:

Why I teach with OER - Jayne Bopp, Sociology Instructor, Leeward CC

For Faculty - Steps to OER


For Faculty - OER Professional Development

Consider training and learning opportunities through UHCC OER Professional Development initiatives.

Self-paced, online courses on OER are available from a number of institutions and organizations.  These are open courses available to anyone.

For Students - TXT0

A class that has a TXT0 (Textbook Cost = $0) marking means that students will not be required to pay for any course “learning” materials. TXT0 FAQ

Course learning materials include textbooks, readings, workbooks, lab manuals, access codes, or other content. Equipment, tools, or supplies (e.g., art supplies, culinary knives set, etc.) needed to apply the learning occurring in the class are NOT considered course learning materials. TXT0 classes may rely solely on the use of OERs or utilize a combination of OERs, freely available web resources, library resources, and/or faculty-authored materials.

Meet Nicole Keim-Fortuno, Leeward CC Counselor and Associate Professor, in the video below to learn more about how to find classes that are marked TXT0

For Students - What Can You Do?

  • Look for classes branded "Textbook Cost: $0."  These classes do not require students to purchase textbooks or other course-related materials.  Textbook Cost: $0 Class List
  • Ask your instructor if he or she has ever considered replacing commercial textbooks with OER or other no-cost resources. Keep in mind that not all subjects have a readily adoptable OER textbook available and transitioning to OER may take more time and effort for some instructors than for others.
  • Contact your Leeward Student Government representatives and let them know you support the campus OER initiatives.

For College Leaders - OER Policy Development Guidebook

More about OER