Activity: OER Treasure Hunt Worksheet

You can view this activity as a downloadable Google Doc. You can also view the full OER Starter Kit Workbook, which includes multiple additional activities.[1]

Tip: This worksheet is designed as a “do-your-best” exercise. Some topics might not have a lot of OER available. If you don’t find anything, broaden your search by using different keywords.

Course Information

Course name:

Target audience(s): [describe level of course, whether it’s majors or non-majors, etc.]

Current textbook and cost: [this can be useful for self-reflection and for identifying keywords in pt. 2]

Topic Identification

Identify at least 5 topics that you can use in your OER search. Hint: textbook table of contents can help.

Topics Keywords (to help with the search queries)













Start from these pages and search for materials related to your identified topics. Do not spend more than 25 minutes on this. If you can’t find anything, make your search broader or contact your subject librarian.

Now, write out the titles, authors, URLs, and licenses of all the items that (even remotely) fit your topics:


Target three of the most promising items from your list in section 2, and explore the content. Use the Evaluating Course Materials Checklist to assess what you’ve found.

Item 1:

Item 2:

Item 3:


Reflect on each of the following questions, and provide short written answers about your experience.


  1. Did you find materials that could fit your needs?


  2. Which materials did you find that could be used as-is (simply shared as a file or a link to potential students)?


  3. Which materials would require some massaging/remixing on your part to bring up to your standards? Are the materials you have found licensed in a way that would allow you to make those tweaks?


  4. Do you believe they match the quality of what publishers can offer? Why or why not?

  1. Attribution: "OER Treasure Hunt Worksheet" by Abbey Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. It is an adaptation of SPARC’s adaptation of “OER Treasure Hunt Worksheet” by Mathieu Plourde, available at also under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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OER and Alternative Textbook Handbook Copyright © 2020 by Ariana Santiago is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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