Finding OER Search Tools
The links below are intended to provide a jump start with a few specific resources. They are not exhaustive. Use Google Advanced Search (set “usage rights” at the bottom to “free to use share or modify” ), OASIS, MERLOT, OER Commons, OpenEdCuny, and other OER search tools to find updated and additional resources and connect with others. CC Search or the CC Search Browser extension makes it easy to locate, download and cite images. Stay connected by joining disciplinary OER and general OER communities.
Textbooks and Lecture Slides
An introduction to the nature of the universe. Use it to research or review our solar system, stars, galaxies, and the history of the universe. Each chapter has a set of corresponding homework questions.
- Astronomy – OpenStax*
An introductory book on astronomy.
- Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe (CK-12 Flexbooks) by Prof. Debra Fischer, PhD. and Lily Zhao, PhD candidate, Yale University
- College Physics – OpenStax*
Meets standard scope and sequence requirements for a two-semester introductory algebra-based physics course. The text is grounded in real-world examples to help students grasp fundamental physics concepts.
- Simple Nature
A calculus-based physics textbook meant for the type of freshman survey course taken by engineering and physical science majors, or for AP Physics C. It uses a nontraditional order of topics, with energy coming before force.
- Motion Mountain
An entertaining and free e-book on physics – the science of motion. Comes in 6 volumes: 1) Fall, Flow and Heat; 2) relativity and Cosmology; 3) Light, Charges, and Brains; 4) the Quantum of Change; 5) Pleasure, Technology,and Stars; 6) The Strand Model-A Speculation on Unification.
*Lectures slides or problem solutions for OpenStax books can be obtained by signing up as an instructor or student at Openstax. Some of the lecture slides and textbook exercises are also available through the OERCommons, MERLOT, and Libretexts. All 33 OpenStax books, including physics and astronomy textbooks, are also available as PressBooks versions at BCcampus.
Homework and Exercises
MyOpenMath is a free, open source, online course management system for mathematics, chemistry, physics and other quantitative fields. Functions include randomizing questions, online tests, discussion forum, and automatic grading.
Lab Experiments and Manuals
- Online Labs for Introductory Level Astronomy
“The Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project provides online laboratories targeting the undergraduate introductory astronomy audience. Each lab consists of background materials and one or more simulators that students use as they work through a student guide. Pretests and posttests can be used to gauge student learning.”
Interactives, Simulations and Games
“Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.”
- Sky Gazer
“View the sky from any place on Earth or in the Solar System, over a timespan of ten thousand years from the present.” Includes sky chart, realistic planet graphs, eclipses, historic sky simulations, phases of the moon, and paths of the poles and planets.
- Neave Planetarium
An interactive sky map. Requires Adobe Flash Player.
- Google Sky
Planetarium with links to other Astronomy resources.
A NASA funded “open source interactive data visualization software designed to visualize the entire known universe and portray our ongoing efforts to investigate the cosmos.”
- PHet Astronomy Simulations
“PhET provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations. We extensively test and evaluate each simulation to ensure educational effectiveness. These tests include student interviews and observation of simulation use in classrooms. The simulations are written in Java, Flash or HTML5, and can be run online or downloaded to your computer.”
Tests, Quizzes and Assessments
- Physics Problems for Nerds: Analyzing “nerd” culture through physics 101
Book of example/test problems for algebra-based physics 1 on SUNY Open Textbook. PDF format only.
Multimedia and Images
- CC Search or the CC Search Browser extension makes it easy to locate, download and cite images.
- Wikimedia Commons (images, videos, and sounds)
- Astronomical images
Free to Access Courses, Journals and OER Hubs
- Astronomy Resources from Saylor
- Merlot Astronomy Materials
- Galaxy Zoo: Crowd-sourced astronomy research.
- Open course by Gregory Pijanowski designed for a community college
- A mashup of OER for an Astronomy course
- Wikibooks -Astronomy contains open content textbooks and other learning resources
- SCOAP3 – Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics
SCOAP3 is converting key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors.
- BMCC OER Physics courses
- Wikibooks -Physics contains open content textbooks and other learning resources
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine Online and PDFs of different subjects that can be downloaded for free by the chapter or the entire book.
The sources listed above are copied or adapted from: