OER Commons is "a freely accessible online library that provides teachers and curriculum specialists instructional materials for classes." (See https://iskme.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001003583-Welcome-to-OER-Commons for more about OER Commons.) 


OER Commons is integrated into Mizzou's Canvas instance to allow instructors to easily link and embed OER resources in their classes. Links to OER Commons may be set up in modules and also be embedded into pages. 


In a Module: 

  1. Click the + at the top right of the module to add an item. 
  2. Choose External Tool from the Add  menu. 
  3. Scroll down to OER Commons and click it so that the URL box is filled in. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Optional: change the Page Name of the link. If you are uncertain what you want to call it, you can always edit it later. 
  5. Do not click Load in a new tab.
  6. Click Add Item.  Screenshot of External Tool Picker in ModulesFigure 1: External Tool add item dialog with OER Commons selected. 
  7. Click on the OER Commons link you just created. 
  8. You can search for, preview and select items from your My Items, My Groups and My Collections pages in OER Commons. You cannot search for resources outside of those pages from within Canvas. See the section on searching below. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Click Select to add the resource to Canvas. 
  10. Publish the module. 

Screenshot of OER Commons Selection Tool.Figure 2: OER Commons Selection Tool


In a Page:

  1. Click the chevron icon in the second row of the editor menu. (See Figure 3.)
  2. Choose OER Commons. Page Menu to Select OER CommonsFigure 3: Select OER Commons in Page. 
  3. You can search for, preview and select items from your My Items, My Groups and My Collections pages in OER Commons. (See Figure 2 above.) You cannot search for resources outside of those pages from within Canvas. See the section on searching below. 
  4. Click Select to add the resource to the page. 
  5. Click Save or Save & Publish

This will work in other tools that use the editor such as Announcements, Assignments, and Discussions. Please note that not all resources work well in pages; some experimentation may be required. 



Searching for OER Commons Resources. 

  1. If you are not currently accessing OER Commons in Canvas, log into Canvas and click on an OER Commons link. 
  2. In your browser, open https://www.oercommons.org in new tab or window. 
  3. You can use the search form on the front page, or use the tabs at the top of the page to browse by subject, collection, or group. 
  4. When you find a resource you want to use, click the Save button and choose where to save it. Once a resource has been saved to My Items or one of your Groups, you can add it to Canvas. 

For more on finding and saving resources, see: https://iskme.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001007363-Search-for-content


Screenshot of OER Commons Search Page

Figure 4: OER Commons Main Search Page. 


Logging into OER Commons:

In most cases, you should be able to log into OER Commons through Canvas as described above in the section on searching. If you need to log into OER Commons for other purposes, you can add a login password to your account. To do this, log in through Canvas, then: 

  1. Click on the Sign In/Register link at the upper right. 
  2. Click on the Forgot your password link.  (See Figure 5.)Screenshot of OER Commons Login Dialog with Link for Forgotten PasswordsFigure 5: OER Commons Login Dialog with Forgot your password link.
  3. Enter your email address as it appears in Canvas. 
  4. Click Submit. 
  5. You will be emailed a password reset link, where you will be asked to enter a password twice. 
  6. After submitting the new password, you should be able to log into OER Commons with your email address as the Username. 

Note: Do not use your Mizzou password! For security purposes, please follow the DoIT password guidelines: 


Must have eight to 26 characters and include at least one character from at least three of the following:

  • Lowercase letters: a - z
  • Uppercase letters: A - Z
  • Digits: 0 - 9
  • Special characters: ? . _ - ~ + = $ ! (note, some applications will not accept commas for special characters; therefore, we recommend selecting from one of the other examples provided)

A password cannot:

  • Be a word found in the dictionary
  • Be the same as your PawPrint
  • Contain MU-related terms (tiger, Truman, Jesse, etc.)
  • Contain spaces or symbols other than the special characters above
  • Contain personal or directory information (Social Security number, employee ID, etc.)



Additional help and tutorials for OER Commons may be found at: 

https://iskme.zendesk.com/