Open educational materials

Open Educational Materials

Open Course Ware (OCW)

It is an international initiative that offers free and permanent access to digital learning and teaching materials created by teams of educators from across the world. The main aim is to share knowledge among educators, academics, students and, generally, the entire university and non-university communities.

They are normally presented in the form of subjects or courses that are free to access. There is no need to enrol or provide accreditation to access their content. They normally include teaching materials, exercises, exams and recommended reading for each subject.

As well as enabling you to access and view these teaching resources and learning materials, most of them have Creative Commons licences that allow you to use them. If you want to know exactly how you can use a specific material, check the type of licence under which it is published.

As an educator, the materials that you find can help you to:

  • Plan your subjects: the materials normally include a teaching programme, the list of topics, the teaching objectives, etc.
  • Create and update the content of your subjects: the materials normally include audiovisual content, documents, recommended reading, useful resources, etc.
  • Create teaching activities for your subjects: the materials normally include exercises, exams, tests, practical lessons, etc.

The library recommends you:


  • MDX: (MDX) it is a cooperative resource that offers materials and digital resources from the network’s member universities (Universitat de Barcelona, Autònoma de Barcelona, Politècnica de Catalunya, Pompeu Fabra, Universitat de Girona, de Lleida, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Universitat Jaume I and Universitat de Vic). Most of the materials are openly accessible, although some are restricted to users from the universities. Among other methods, you can access them by communities and collections or by subjects.


  • MIT OCW: A repository of teaching and learning materials prepared by the university community of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • The Open Education Consortium: The Open Education Consortium’s platform involving over 100 universities from across the world which openly and freely share teaching and study materials.
  • OCW Europe: A European platform with universities that participate in the Open Education Consortium.
  • Merlot: A project that was launched at the California State University to train communities that are involved in producing open and shared learning materials.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

This stands for Massive Online Open Courses and it is a massive and open online course, i.e. a distance course offered on the internet that is free and open to anyone who is interested and decides to sign up. MOOCs are not permanently active; they are launched or activated on specific dates. They are free but require enrolment. Some of the institutions that provide these courses offer accreditation to the people who have finished them and want it.

To look for MOOC courses created by universities all around the world check the following platforms:

  • Miríada Xit offers free online courses in Spanish and Portuguese. It has been promoted by Latin American universities.
  • Coursera: it offers free online courses mainly in English and Spanish. It is a platform with over 130 international institutions, mainly universities from the United States
  • Futurelearn: promoted by the Open University in the United Kingdom. It offers free online courses, mainly in English.
  • edX: promoted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in conjunction with Harvard and Berkeley universities, among others. It offers free online courses, mainly in English.