Open Educational Resources and Practices

The Center for Distributed Learning has a dedicated team of instructional designers who specialize in supporting faculty interested in Open Education.  

This team empowers faculty to 

  • discover open resources for teaching and learning,  
  • identify basic principles of open licensing and its application(s),   
  • apply mechanisms for open resource adoption (e.g. reuse/remix),  
  • utilize existing open resources in instructional settings,  
  • create new open resources for academic use, and   
  • conduct research on open academic practices. 

What is Open Education?

Open education involves creating and/or utilizing existing teaching and learning materials that are freely available to all users—without the restrictions of proprietary systems that limit the sharing of academic content and data.

Why is Open Education Important at UCF? 

Education contributes to the social and economic evolution of humanity, and as a public institution of higher education, our mission is to contribute to the public good. By openly sharing our resources, research, and practices, we not only open the doors of education to our UCF community, but to communities across the globe. 

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others.

Find Open and/or Free Educational Resources for Your Course(s) 


Images / Videos / Simulations 

Create Open and/or Free Educational Resources for Your Course(s)

Use the following tools to kickstart your content authoring experience.

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Open Educational Practices (OEP)

Open Educational Practices (OEP) include the teaching, learning, and administrative processes around the strategic implementation of Open Educational Resources (OER) in a course, program, or institution.  

Examples of OEP span from having students co-create academic content with their instructor(s) to designing open standards and policies to proliferate the use of OER. 

One practice that deserves particular attention in terms of university faculty is the concept of Open Pedagogy. 

 “Open Pedagogy…is a site of praxis: A place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational practices and structures….An access-oriented commitment to learner-driven education AND a process of designing architectures and using tools for learning that enable students to shape the public knowledge commons of which they are a part.” 

Incorporate Open Educational Practices into Your Course(s)

Champions of Open

Champions of Open maintain the belief that higher education is a human right [“equally accessible to all” UDHR, Art.26], characterized by high levels of academic freedom and low barriers to instructional materials. 

Share Your Story

If you are interested in learning more about how your fellow colleagues have incorporated open educational resources and practices to support their students (or if you have a story of your own that you would like to share), view the stories below for some examples and advice (or submit your story). 

Champions of Open
  • Champion of Open – Jim Clark

    Champion of Open – Jim Clark

    I found that many students in my GEP American History (AMH2020) course were not buying the textbook, instead opting to buy textbooks in their majors. In 2016, I adopted an open educational resource in the form of an e-textbook, U.S. History, available through OpenStax. Students can download the whole book or chapter-by-chapter in my online class section.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Su-I Hou

    Champion of Open – Su-I Hou

    I have incorporated open educational resources in three courses: (1) HSC3593 HIV/AIDS; (2) PAF7868 Mixed-Methods Research, and (3) PAF725 Policy and Program Evaluation.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Bruce Wilson

    Champion of Open – Bruce Wilson

    Describe your open educational resources and/or practices: I use the Krutz & Waskiewicz (2019) resource called American Government 2e published by OpenStax, which is available online. In many ways the book contains all the material of a traditional textbook but with the added benefit that it can be easily edited, the chapters rearranged and/or, reordered, … Continue reading "Champion of Open – Bruce Wilson"Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Annabelle Conroy

    Champion of Open – Annabelle Conroy

    Since 2015, I have not asked students to purchase textbooks. I use open educational resources in these courses: (1) POS2041 American National Government, (2) POS4074 Latino Politics, (3) INR4085 Women, Gender, and Globalization, and (4) INR4076 Global Drug Policy – and any other course I teach.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Justin Reyes

    Champion of Open – Justin Reyes

    Students in my PHY2054C College Physics 2 course use open educational resources. In this course, the OpenStax textbook for college physics, which is available online, serves as a valuable resource for open education. It provides an easily accessible and personally editable textbook, with many example problems and exercises, along with access to other open source software such as PhysTech lab simulation programs.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Aniket Bhattacharya

    Champion of Open – Aniket Bhattacharya

    I have been using the OpenStax College Physics textbook for College Physics II. Several of my colleagues are also using the same textbook for College Physics I. Jim Paradiso, an instructional designer from the Center for Distributed Learning, has imported the entire textbook in my course module for easy access by the students. The textbook and other resources are entirely free which takes away big financial burden from the students.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Luca Argenti

    Champion of Open – Luca Argenti

    Before the start of Fall 2020, all faculty at the UCF Physics department teaching one of the many sections of PHY2054, Dr. Bhattacharya, Dr. Brueckner, Dr. Cooney, Dr. Dhalla, Dr. Jerousek, Dr. Kang, Dr. Kara, Dr. Reyes, Dr. Tetard, Dr. Vaida, and myself, have taken the collective decision of adopting OpenStax College Physics, a free online textbook, to reduce the financial burden on our students. In the past, several of us have expressed reservations towards adopting OpenStax, since the quality of the book is not uniform, and the collection of exercises in it has only a partial alignment with our standards.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Ellen Kang

    Champion of Open – Ellen Kang

    For my Physics 2 course (PHY2054), I adopted the OpenStax College Physics e-textbook (by Rice University) as an open educational resource in Fall 2019. I have continued using the open resources for my current PHY2054 course in Fall 2020. In addition, PhET, a free online interactive simulation, was very useful to teach important concepts in physics in a virtual setting.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Dan McConnell

    Champion of Open – Dan McConnell

    I use OER for three courses: (1) PSY2012 General Psychology, (2) PSY4604 History & Systems of Psychology, and (3) EXP3204 Sensation & Perception. I use the Psychology open textbook through OpenStax for PSY2012, plus curated materials for the other upper division courses.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Tiffany Earley-Spadoni

    Champion of Open – Tiffany Earley-Spadoni

    I created my own STARS digital repository of Open Educational Resources for the ASH3200 Ancient Near East Societies course, in collaboration with Lee Dotson in the UCF library. In part, my research focuses on how digital technologies are transforming the fields of history and archaeology. So, I used my familiarity as a researcher with exemplary digital projects to identify open educational resources that could be used by specialists like me to replace and supplement traditional textbooks.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Nicole Lapeyrouse

    Champion of Open – Nicole Lapeyrouse

    Being in academia and having talked with students, I know they do not always buy the textbooks and instead use outside resources. With this in mind, I have adopted an OER textbook for both my geology (GLY1030) and chemistry (CHM2045) courses. I give students the option for my Chemistry Fundamentals course of either purchasing the required text or using the OER textbook that follows the same format. In addition, I have crafted my own educational resources in the form of novel multimedia to help better relate to students and to offer them free resources that I have curated. I did this because most publisher content comes with prerecorded videos and worked out problems and I wanted students to have those resources as well.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – Dan Murphree

    Champion of Open – Dan Murphree

    In my AMH2020 (U.S. History II) course, I use The American Yawp, a "Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook.” According to the publisher, "In an increasingly digital world in which pedagogical trends are de-emphasizing rote learning and professors are increasingly turning toward active-learning exercises, scholars are fleeing traditional textbooks.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – David Head

    Champion of Open – David Head

    I use OpenStax's U.S. History textbook. I reviewed a chapter of the text before publication, and when my history colleague Jim Clark sung the book's praises, I decided to try it. I've used OpenStax since the Spring 2017 semester, although I did once try a competing OER text, American Yawp.Read More »
  • Champion of Open – UCF Physics Instructor

    Champion of Open – UCF Physics Instructor

    I use mostly the OpenStax physics and astronomy textbooks. I publish them in The exception is my PSC1121 textbook, which I wrote and copyrighted; it is also on our Pressbooks platform.Read More »

If you would like to learn more about Open Educational Resources and Practices (OER/P), please contact James R. Paradiso at