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Considerations for the use of “free” educational materials and technology during COVID-19

Adapted from Michaela Willi Hooper from Linn-Benton Community College

As the educational community responds to COVID-19, you may be receiving emails from vendors offering limited-time free access to their tools and platforms.  The Boise State Open and Affordable Resources Committee and the Library wanted to share some online resources that are always free or affordable. Please remember that students may be experiencing greater financial stress than usual if they’re not able to work due to the coronavirus. You might want to consider investing your time in trying resources and tools that will continue to be free to you and your students after the crisis is over.

Below are some places to start finding free and open resources. If you need additional help finding OER for your course, you can email

  • Open Textbook Library. Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
  • Openstax. High-quality, peer-reviewed, open textbooks on introductory topics. Students can buy print copies. See their blog post on Teaching online with OpenStax to support emerging social distancing requirements. OpenStax has quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. OpenStax Allies offer competitively-priced homework platforms that work with OpenStax books, and many of them are waiving costs right now.
  • Lumen Learning. Offers a wide array of open content that you can access for free. Their Waymaker and OHM modules are low-cost homework platforms that can be integrated with Blackboard.

If you’re looking for more open resources, check out the Albertsons Library LibGuide for OER at and the guide to alternatives for access to articles and other scholarship at

The library has a robust ebook and streaming video resources:

The Library is closed until further notice but our online resources are available 24/7. Visit the University’s COVID-19 webpage for the most current information. All librarians are happy to chat with you about topics such as:

You can email us individually to set up a Zoom appointment or connect with us at Library: Contact Us