100+ Open Courseware Resources for Teachers

Posted by Staff Writers | Posted in College Education, Online Learning | Posted on 17-09-2008

Whether you want to improve your existing education degree, are preparing to earn your degree, or wish to learn about how you can incorporate open courseware in your classroom, there is plenty of information on the Internet. With so many open courseware resources available, this list should help you narrow your search to find exactly what you want. From educational theories, science and math, special education, technology, podcasts, and more, you are sure to find something to pique your interest.

Educational Approaches and Theories

From teaching globally to gender issues to observational approaches, these courses can help you learn about plenty of educational approaches and theories.

  1. Involving the family in supporting pupil’s literacy learning. Learn how to actively involve the whole family in approaching literacy learning and ways the teachers and parents can work together for this goal.
  2. Educational Theory and Practice, I. This course sets out the core set of skills and knowledge a secondary teacher needs to have prior to teaching in the classroom–the first in a three-part series from MIT.
  3. Educational Theory and Practice, III. The third and final of the series, this course explores such topics as educational psychology, technology in the classroom, and motivating students.
  4. Enhancing pupil learning on museum visits. Learn ways to make the most of your museum field trips for all the different types of learners in your classroom.
  5. Teach Global. Take this course to get information, other courses, and resources to learn about the Teach Global program.
  6. Parents as partners. This course looks at why the parent-teacher-student team approach is important and offers suggestions for implementing a successful parent partnership program in the classroom.
  7. Introducing observational approaches in research with children and young people. Learn about observation as a research tool, the differences between quantitative and qualitative research, and learn the difference between describing and explaining in a research study with this course.
  8. Exploring K-12 Classroom Teaching. This course takes a look at methods of teaching student-centered classrooms while examining various student needs.
  9. The Nature of Constructionist Learning. The focus of this course is to learn about education and learning within a constructionist framework.
  10. Research for the Classroom Teacher. Learn the Guided Design method of research to enhance your research experience.
  11. Gender Issues in Academics and Academia. Learn about the gender differences in learning and how it impacts the classroom experience as well as how gender issues affect those in academia.

Child Development and Psychology

Every teacher can benefit from these college courses focusing on the development and forces at play in the growing child.

  1. Children and violence: an introductory, international, and interdisciplinary approach. Find out how violence affects children and examine the specifics of violence in the home, peer-to-peer violence, and violence within armed conflicts.
  2. Child Development. Learn about the major child development theories and theorists focusing on the range of development from infancy through adolescence.
  3. A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain. This course is geared for all types of students wanting to explore the nature of the human brain and cognition. Educators are specifically mentioned in the course description.
  4. Psychology of Gender. Learn about the gender differences and social influences of them within several social realms–including education.
  5. Human Memory and Learning. This psychological exploration of the relationship of memory to learning will be especially interesting to teachers with an interest in the workings of the brain.
  6. Psycholinguistics. Focusing on the connection between thought and memory on language acquisition, this course examines several areas of language learning such as self-paced reading, eye-tracking, and more.

On Teaching and Personal Development

Whether you are interested in learning how a teaching assistant enhances the classroom or want to adapt your curriculum to promote positive classroom behavior, these courses will help you out.

  1. Teaching assistants: support in action. With an emphasis on teaching assistants in the U.K., this course explores the growing trend of paraprofessionals in the classroom, their role, and contributions to the classroom.
  2. Thinking about how I work with other professionals. This course allows self-exploration as you examine the ways you work with other professionals and reflect on how to improve your working relationships while maintaining your values and beliefs.
  3. Introduction to Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science. This course takes the education student through the experience of teaching–both challenges and joys–and offers plenty of hands-on opportunities to learn about both teaching and the students’ learning in the classroom.
  4. Working with young people: roles and responsibilities. Learn about the different roles adults often play in the life of young people, discover the role you play, and learn to develop roles you wish to play for your students.
  5. Teaching for good behaviour. This course explores the ways you can set up your lessons to engage students while minimizing problem behavior through lesson format, delivery, and content.
  6. Evaluating school classroom discussion. Learn how to successfully implement discussion in your classroom to facilitate the learning process for your students.

Early Childhood Education

If you work with very young children, these courses can provide information to enhance your abilities.

  1. The role of play in children’s learning. This course examines how children learn through play, why it is important in the classroom, and common problems when looking at cross-cultural differences to childhood play.
  2. Knowledge in everyday life. Looking at children ages 3-8, this course examines how young children approach learning of language, science, and mathematics early in life.
  3. Play, learning and the brain. This course explores play and learning, particularly brain-based approaches in education of early childhood.
  4. Parents and toddlers: teaching and learning at home. Learn theories of learning and how parents can successfully facilitate learning in their children in their daily interactions.
  5. Infant and Early Childhood Cognition. Learn how infants and young children’s mind perceive the world while also focusing on the research within this field.

Language Arts

These courses will help you learn more to share with your students in the language arts field.

  1. Encouraging book talk in the school library. This course examines ways adults can encourage dialogue about books with such ideas as children’s book reviews and book clubs.
  2. Teaching languages: language awareness. Learn about the historical connection between languages as well as such topics as teaching etymology, vocabulary, and listening skills.
  3. Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition: Perspectives on Technology and Culture. Learn about the impact of technology on Hispanic cultures on relationships between the sexes, personal identity, in the natural world, and more while strengthening both written and oral proficiency.
  4. Medieval Literature: Medieval Women Writers. Learn about this exciting newer genre of literature so that you can share with your secondary students.
  5. Modern Drama. This course focuses on major modern playwrights and their works. Take this knowledge back to your English classroom.

Science and Math

Learn how to grow your abilities as a science or math teacher with these courses.

  1. A global dimension to science education in schools. Specifically for secondary teachers, this course explores why global science education is important and provides some global approaches to use in the classroom.
  2. Changes in science education. This course takes a look at the ways science education has evolved, to whom it is focused, and how technology has affected science education in this course with a perspective from the U.K.’s educational system.
  3. Teaching College-Level Science. Perhaps effective for the advanced placement high-school science teacher, this course focuses on teaching critical thinking, communicating with a diverse student body, and using technology in the classroom.
  4. Concept-Centered Teaching. Explore ways to engage your science students in their education through helping students to better understand key concepts and eliminate student misconceptions of science education.
  5. Using visualisation in maths teaching. Learn the basics of visualization, how it affects learning in mathematics, and strategies to implement visualization in the classroom.
  6. Biology in elementary schools: A St Michael’s College Project. Watch this video to learn how student teachers collaborate to create lessons for biology students.

Social Studies

From geography to democracy to the law and society, these courses will inform you so that you can pass new information to your students.

  1. Geography in education: exploring a definition. For geography teachers, this course course examines the purposes of teaching geography as well as the various student perspectives.
  2. Social geography: exploring a definition. This course examines the way geography is currently being taught and explores the educational power of geography in school.
  3. Democracy? You think you know?. Examine democracy, the importance of it, and alternatives in this course.
  4. Teaching citizenship: work and the economy. Study the implications of responsible citizenship on various economic situations including corporate citizenship, child labor, and worker rights.
  5. Law and Society. Study the function of law within society by examining the relationships of law makers, law enforcers, and the public.
  6. Promoting Positive Development Among Youth. This version of this course focuses on the incorporation of youth in civic society in order to promote positive changes in the youth as well as the community.

Special Learning Populations and Special Education

Whether your students are ESL students, are in special education, or deal with dyslexia, learn how to strengthen their educational experience.

  1. Language as a medium for teaching and learning. Excellent as a preparation to master’s level coursework, this course examines the affect languages have on the second language learner in the classroom.
  2. The Linguistic Study of Bilingualism. Learn about the roots of bilingualism as well as various implications of bilingualism, and even educational repercussions of bilingualism.
  3. Inclusive education: knowing what we mean. This course explores the definition of inclusion, the various models, and several inclusion topics including what students should be involved in inclusion and the potential implications of inclusion.
  4. What children’s perspectives tell us about inclusion. Go inside the heads of the children involved in inclusion classrooms to discover their perspectives on such issues as play and learning, gender, and mixed-abilities within the classroom.
  5. Accessibility and eLearning. Study accessibility, assistive technology, and how it enhances the educational experience of the student with disabilities.
  6. Autism Theory and Technology. Find out about autism, the student with autism, and current technology to "improve opportunities for people diagnosed with autism."
  7. Understanding dyslexia. Learn what dyslexia is as well as treatment and management techniques in this course.

Fine Arts, Physical Education, and Health

Frequently known as the "specials," the areas of art, music, and physical education definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. Use these courses to help inspire your teaching.

  1. Why teach art?. This course examines the importance of art in education and looks at current debates on the subject.
  2. Costume Design for the Theater. Drama teachers will love this course designed to build off a working knowledge of costume design while enhancing your ability to create costumes while incorporating the psychology of clothing.
  3. Using film music in the classroom. Use familiar film music as a tool to teach various aspects of music to students.
  4. Music Perception and Cognition. Learn how people perceive and process the various aspects of music in this course.
  5. Feeling and Imagination in Art, Science, and Technology. Study philosophy, psychology, and literature to learn about the ways emotion and imagination play into the creative process involving science and technology.
  6. Art of Color. Learn about the use of color in visual arts, the psychology of color, and more in this course focusing on several interesting aspects in the use of color.
  7. Active, healthy lifestyles. This course looks at some of the myths of physical education as well as topics such as how active students should be, ways to encourage physical activity, and methods for implementing change.
  8. Dance skills. Learn the basics of dance such as warm-up activities, posture and balance, and performance skills.
  9. Physical Intelligence. Explore the relationship between body and mind as you learn about physical intelligence and its connection to cognitive intelligence.
  10. Health Across the Lifespan: Frameworks, Contexts, and Measurements. Learn about the various aspects of growth and development of the human from birth through old age.


If your job is running the school, then you won’t want to miss these courses.

  1. Economics of Education. This course studies the implications of various educational issues on economics and explores such issues as the effectiveness of mid-career training for teachers and the implications of college financial aid.
  2. School business manager: developing the role. With a decidedly British slant to it, this course explores the reasons that managing the school as a business has become necessary and ways to effectively do so.
  3. Technological Tools for School Reform. Examine a case study of school reform using technology as the basis of change, look at the state of school reform, and think about ways to positively shape school reform through progressive charter schools.
  4. School governors: planning for improvement. This course offers suggestions for ways to plan for improvement in your school while taking into consideration the needs of all those involved.
  5. School governors: organisation and practice. This model from the U.K. offers an overview and roles of each player in the school governance body and provides tips on effectively using each to the best of their ability.

Technology in the Classroom

Any teacher in the classroom today can benefit from courses on technology and education. Browse through this list to find one that interests you.

  1. Media, Education, and the Marketplace. Learn how to take advantage of the current generation’s familiarity with interactive media for effective use in the classroom.
  2. Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education. This course examines the use of computer games in the educational setting to assist with learning such concepts as "weather to ecology to traffic management."
  3. Technologies for Creative Learning. Examine the ways new technologies can help stimulate learning and creativity with this hands-on course. Lego fans will love this.
  4. Creativity, community, and ICT. Learn about how creativity works, about collaborative creativity, and how technology can assist in both the collaborative and creative aspects of learning.
  5. Teaching using digital video in secondary schools. Explore digital media in the classroom, especially video, and learn ways to implement video learning opportunities.
  6. How to Learn (Almost) Anything. Look at the relationship of technology and hands-on learning and explore what can be learned through these experiential learning activities.
  7. Connecting People with Online Resources. This course is specifically designed to help teachers learn and pass along methods for finding quality online resources and enhancing research and learning in the classroom.
  8. Understanding Online Interaction. Learn about the various ways people network and communicate online so that you can create effective learning communities in your classroom.


Briefer than most online courses, listen to these podcasts for easy access to information from students and electronic media to assessment testing in schools.

  1. WKU, Distance Learning Podcasting Lectures. Select from several podcasts and listen or read the transcript on a variety of topics including Working With Young Children & Families, Speech & Language Development, History of Mathematics, and more.
  2. Students and Electronic Media: Teaching in the Technological Age. This series offers a look at technology in the classroom and offers suggestions for ways to incorporate technology into your school.
  3. Students and Electronic Media-Pt 2. The continuation of this series examines innovative uses of technology in the classroom.
  4. Parental engagement, prejudice and personalisation. This Danish lecture examines the influences, both positive and negative, of parental "aspirations, expectations and involvement" on their children’s educational experience.
  5. Children’s Media: More Harm than Good?. This professor examines whether media is part of the problem or the solution when it comes to current social childhood problems.
  6. Stanford on iTunes U. Visit the courses Stanford offers through iTunes for podcasts in both Education Policy and Teaching and Learning.
  7. The Crisis in the New Orleans Public Schools. Listen to hear how this man rose above the educational crisis in New Orleans to create a program to help the students find their voices.
  8. National Educators’ Summit on Education & Technology. This lecture from Dateline NBC’s Chris Hansen describes how to protect children from predators on the Internet.
  9. Education and Immigration: A Call to Conscience. Learn these advocates’ stance on society’s responsibility to educate the immigrant population.
  10. Boisi Lecture: "Testing and Educational Policy". Find out what this professor says schools must do if testing as a method of accountability is to be a successful endeavor.
  11. Engage Me or Enrage Me: eTeaching Day Keynote. This expert in the field of eLearning technology outlines ways to use technology in the classroom to engage the students.
  12. Measurement in Education and the Social Sciences I. Listen to the whole semester’s worth of lectures from this class from UC Berkeley.

Open Courseware Resource Material

If you would like to find more open courses, learn how to use open courseware in your classroom, or just stay on top of the latest developments in the field of open courseware, then these resources will guide you in the right direction.

  1. OER Handbook for Educators 1.0. This free handbook provides the basics and more on open educational resources to help educators boost their effectiveness both online and in the classroom through open courseware.
  2. WikiEducator. This wiki is dedicated to providing teachers an online community of support and ideas to further their eLearning experience.
  3. ODEPO Project. Planning to debut in beta in September 2008, this online resource plans to serve as a clearinghouse for all existing educational projects.
  4. Open CourseWare Consortium. Use this site to search for any available open courses available on the Internet.
  5. ccLearn. A part of the Creative Commons network, this site works to "minimize barriers to sharing and reuse of educational materials."
  6. Terra Incognita. From Penn State, this blog highlights the latest in online learning with a focus on open courseware and open source software.
  7. OERderves. This collaborative blog serves to keep you updated on the latest in open educational resources.
  8. dgCommunities: Open Educational Resources. Find content, tools, and resources for all things related to OER at this site.
  9. Ranking of Foreign Language OpenCourseWare Education Sources. This article reviews and ranks the top 10 foreign language courses available through open courseware.
  10. iBerry. Use this resource to search for open courseware or use the news aggregator to stay abreast of the latest in open courseware news.
  11. K12EdCom.org. Browse this site to find open courseware curriculum material specifically created for K-12 education.
  12. OCW/OER Search. Powered by Google, this search engine will help you find free courses.
  13. OER Commons. Find materials for K-12 and higher education from universities and individuals alike on this site.
  14. Wikiversity. Find open coursework textbooks from preschool to university level online at this site.
  15. OER Recommender. Another search engine type site, just plug in your keyword and search of links to OER resources.

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