OER and Sustainability Models

Unit 2. Find, Select, Use and Re-use OER

2.1 Find and Select an OER: Searching Repositories of OER and other Online Sources

In the next chapter you will find several examples of Repositories of OER where a countless abundance of OER that could be used are deposited, as well as other online sources and initiatives that are important for searching OER for use or re-use. There are also several initiatives and projects throughout the world that work as repositories of OER.  It´s possible to find and select OERs employing different methods:  1) browsing on topics and subjects; 2) recommendations from colleagues and/or personal friends; 3) searches within organizations with reputation; 4) searches through well ranked resources (Clements & Pawlowski , 2012). 


There are different types of repositories in the world that store open content and hosts collections of OERs. We selected some of them as examples of Open Educational Resources Repositories. All of the resources are free and can be used as they are or adapted, remixed, that is: they can be used or re-used. 


Accessible at

Country of origin



European Union

Economics Network Online Learning and Teaching Materials 


United Kingdom

FREIburger Multimedia Object Repository



Lab Space


United Kingdom



United States

National Learning Network


United Kingdom



United Kingdom

OER Commons


United States

OER Online Archive



 Table 3-OER Repositories

Institutional Initiatives 

OCW - The central idea of this project is the publication of web materials used in classroom teaching at MIT, such as notes, curricula, bibliographies and simulations, as well as lessons in video and audio.  It is possible to use them or adapt and re-use. 

OpenLearn - An initiative launched in the UK, the Open University UK (OUUK) is the OpenLearn, which began in 2006, funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (foundation that stands out for leading numerous OER initiatives). The main difference between this initiative and the MIT OCW is that this does not only provide a selection of materials available for free use, but it also provides tools to help all those who wish to develop and publish educational resources, with the goal of simultaneously build communities of students and educators through various tools and strategies. 

OpenCourseWareConsortium - The relevance of this initiative is closely related to its international scope, the OpenCourseWareConsortium (OCWC). The OCWC is a community with members from all around the world, representatives of more than 100 higher education institutions and associated organizations, which assume a commitment to disclosure of OER and its impact on global education. Consortium members use a shared publishing model; each member undertakes to publish a minimum of ten courses in a format that meets the definition of OCW. A special feature of this initiative is that of promoting the sharing between institutions, which allows developing a common assessment framework to all members of the Consortium, in trying to establish quality criteria. 

Open Learning Initiative - The Open Learning Initiative, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, was launched hoping to provide online learning environments as an alternative to traditional education, promoting greater interaction between students and content and providing students with more frequent feedback. The courses developed under this project were based on principles of cognitive learning, which stress the importance of interactive environments and solving authentic problems, supported by an efficient technological interface with innovative features, such as intelligent tutoring systems, virtual laboratories, experiences and group simulations. The initiative also takes aim at building a community with an important role in the development and improvement of courses, a concept that opens the way for the importance of open educational practices.