Database of Open Source Educational Content

Thanks to reader KM who sent me a note about a site called the OER Commons. The OER (Open Educational Resources) Common is a database of open source content related to education. It’s available at .

Usually sites like this are devoted either to K-12 or higher education resources — this one has both. From the front page you can browse by tag, subject matter, or grade level. Or if you like you can try a fill-in-the-blank advanced search that allows you to choose several different search options. I started by doing a little tag browsing, for art.

Most of the search results I got were for MIT OpenCourseWare, but there were a couple other sources in there as well. Search results include abstract, subject, source, and rating (not all courses are rated). Courses also have a detail page that gives a fuller version of the abstract, the ratings, and pointers to the kinds of materials available. (I didn’t find the ratings very extensive or useful.) It looks like the materials are not kept on the site; instead offsite links are given. If you’re registered with the site (registration is free) you’ll also have the option to tag and rate resources, add some notes, or save searches.

I did a search for podcast and got two very different results: Institute of Industrial Relations 60th Anniversary Program and Introduction to Macroeconomics: Key Macro Variables and Relationships (podcast only) from the course Macroeconomic Analysis. A search for lecture found under 250 results, including the intriguing 101 Things You Can Do the First Three Weeks of Class. If you’re interested in the spectrum of available courses, search for material types instead of subjects.

In addition to the database of materials, this site also has several link lists related to OER content, including articles and reports, tools and technology, and blogs and wikis. Lots of exploring to do here.

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