Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

A guide to educational material that are freely available to use, adapt, share, and reuse.

Free Tools for OER Creation

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are great places to keep copies of your OER for your courses; however, they don't allow public access.  

In order for others to use your OER, you may need to provide access in one or more of the following ways:

  • Download the OER
  • Stream the OER for interaction online
  • Download the source file


Open Learning at UVA

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost provide a webpage with helpful links to Open Learning resources at the University.  

The University offers open courses through Coursera.  

LibraOpen is affiliated with the University of Virginia Library and all materials become part of the Library's catalog.  Note: Users will need to NetBadge in to access the link.  


Hosting in the Cloud

Hosting OER in the "cloud" means storing and processing data on networked facilities (computers somewhere on the Internet) as opposed to locally on your own computer.  


A free option for hosting images

Flickr logoFlickr is a free image hosting service (up to one terabyte) that allows you to create galleries and slideshows as well as mark your content as Creative Commons. 



Free options for hosting audio

PodBean logo

PodBean provides easy uploading and publishing tools, templates, custom domains, social & promotional tools, embeddable podcast player, and more.




Podomatic allows you to create your own podcast website.  Anyone can listen, share and download MP3s of your episodes.



Free options for hosting video

YouTube logo


YouTube is perhaps the most popular spot for hosting video; however, unless you direct the learner to your specific video(s), they may get lost attempting to navigate the millions of search results.  


Vimeo logoVimeo functions similar to YouTube but with a smaller user-base, less clutter from lower quality videos, and no advertisements. 


School Tube logo

School Tube is created for K-12 students.  The content is both educator and teacher created and a valuable tool for education majors.  School Tube screens content in order to protect children from harmful content and invasions of their privacy.



Options for hosting print/presentations


Scribd logo

Scribd allows the upload of Word documents that can be embedded into blogs, web pages, or online courses.  Note: Scribd has shifted focus to selling subscriptions to their ebook collection. 



SlideShare logoSlideShare allows the upload of PowerPoint presentations that can be embedded into blogs, webpages, and online courses.  You can mark your content as Creative Commons. 


Google Drive


Google Drive allows for the upload of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint slideshows that can be linked but not embedded. 


Consider publishing tools that are non-proprietary and produce formats that are easy to:

  • Navigate
  • Access on different devices
  • Accessible off-line (i.e., in portable formats) as this is requirement for inclusion in the Open Textbook Library

PDF format is ideal for text OER. Other alternatives include open source word processing applications, odt format (the open version of .doc/.docx), or an HTML web page. 

Inkscape logo


  • Open source application
  • Creates/edits PDF files, includes a vector drawing and graphics tool
  • A great option if your document is image-heavy

LibreOffice logoLibreOffice

  • Open source office suite, comparable to Microsoft Office
  • Includes a word processing application, an editor for PDF files and mathematical formulas, spreadsheets, charts, presentations, small databases, images, and more  

PressBooks logoPressbooks 

  • Open source software that allows for local hosting of most themes with its free version
  • Hosting, proprietary themes, and tech support are available for a fee, with discount for OTN members like UVa
  • An editing, cloning, and publishing interface all in one
  • Allows for easy creation of portable formats like typeset PDF files (i.e., structured to improve the reading experience) and ebooks

                              Rebus Community

  • An online platform for collaborative authoring and reviewing open textbooks
  • An editing, cloning, and publishing interface all in one
  • Allows for easy creation of portable formats like ebboks and typeset PDF files

OER Commons logo

                 Open Author from OER Commons

  • An editing, cloning, and publishing interface all in one
  • Allows for the creation of courses, units, lessons, activities, and presentations
  • Not currently capable to produce portable formats like ebooks and PDF files

Creating audio files will require a microphone.  It is best to use an external microphone as opposed to the one that came with your desktop or laptop due to audio quality.  UVA users can utilize the equipment available at the Robertson Media Center on the third floor of Clemons Library.  

Audacity logoAudacity is an open source audio editing software. 

Note: Audacity won't save your work as an MP3 file until you download and install the LAME codec.  

Audacity comes with a learning curve.  If you are unfamiliar with it, you may benefit from accessing these tutorials. 

GarageBand logo


GarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for macOS and iOS that allows users to create music or podcasts. 

Creating your own images

GIMP logo


GIMP is a full-featured and open source image editing application with somewhat of a learning curve | GIMP tutorials.


GIMP SHOP logoGIMPSHOP, also open source and built using GIMP code, is an image editing application resembling Photoshop.

Greenshot logo


Greenshot is a free, open source tool for taking, editing, and annotating screenshots.




Sites with Creative Commons (CCBY) license images




Image searching strategies



Video Production


Screencast-o-matic logoScreencast-o-matic records and allows for editing of videos of your computer screen.


Softchalk logo

Softchalk can be used to create interactive tutorials and mashup text/video.

Including your work in MERLOT is an excellent way to share your materials with other educators.  

MERLOT is a platform for creating, editing, and sharing OER on all topics, for all grade levels, and also for rating, reviewing, and modifying, and using the OER created by others.  Some of the OER are formally peer reviewed