Creating OER

Are you thinking about adapting or creating OER for a course? The following are guides and tools to help you get started. Also check out our posts on Creative Commons, Attribution, and Accessibility for information about open licenses and making sure that the resources you use and create are truly open for all students.


These guides offer a variety of perspectives and instructions on creating OER. Some guide you through the process of adaptation, others guide you through the process of creating and publishing open textbooks, and one is about involving students in OER creation.

  • Adaptation Guide (BCcampus Open Education)
    This guide “is a practical reference about how to customize — or adapt — an open textbook so that it better fits your needs in the classroom and elsewhere. This guide defines the term adaptation and discusses reasons for revising a book, why this is possible with an open textbook, and the challenges involved.”
  • Authoring Open Textbooks
    This guide from the Open Education Network “is for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and K-12. Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.”
  • The OER Starter Kit
    This guide is for instructors new to Open Education and includes information on finding and using OER, open pedagogy, and creating OER. The OER Starter Kit Workbook at Manifold @CUNY is a remix of this text with worksheets you can use for planning.
  • A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students
    This handbook from Rebus Community is “for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other Open Educational Resources.”
  • Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know
    This guide from the Open Education Network is “for faculty, and those who support faculty, who want to modify an open textbook. Step-by-step instructions for importing and editing common open textbook file and platform types are included.”
  • The Open Pedagogy Student Toolkit
    This guide is for students engaged in open pedagogy. It includes definitions of OER and open pedagogy and their purposes, and it discusses student rights and responsibilities as well as Creative Commons licensing.
  • The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)
    Rebus Community supports the creation of open textbooks and other open educational resources. This guide is Rebus’s “living repository of collective knowledge, written to equip all those who want to publish open textbooks with the resources they need.” The guide is “a book-in-progress,” and the web version will be updated throughout 2022, with updates made to other formats after the revisions are complete.
  • Self-Publishing Guide (BCcampus Open Education)
    This guide “is a reference for individuals or groups wanting to write and self-publish an open textbook. This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook.”


In addition to the tools listed below, see OER Authoring Tools [Google Docs], a guide to different authoring tools compiled by Michele DeSilva, COCC and Amy Hofer, Open Oregon Educational Resources and Tools for Creating OER: Selecting Appropriate Technologies, which “is intended to provide the OER community with a summary of some currently available tools for creating open content.”

  • CUNY Pressbooks
    Pressbooks is an authoring platform built on WordPress. CUNY Pressbooks allows you to create content once and then publish it in a variety of formats: on the web, as a PDF or EPUB, and as various editable files. Click on “Sign Up” and use your CUNY email to get started.
  • H5P
    H5P enables you to create, share, and reuse interactive HTML5 content on your own website.
  • Hypothesis
    Hypothesis is a freely accessible open source web annotation tool.
  • Manifold @CUNY
    “Our Manifold instance serves as a free digital publishing platform for the entire CUNY community, where you can create and share your own scholarship, custom classroom versions of texts and textbooks that are openly licensed or in the public domain, Open Educational Resources (OER), [or] journals, or use Manifold Reading Groups to build your own course reader from materials already available on our instance of Manifold.”
  • Open Author (OER Commons)
    “Open Author helps you build and publish Open Educational Resources for you and for the benefit of educators and learners everywhere.”
  • TED-Ed Lesson builder
    Create lessons using TED Talks or YouTube videos.