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This an archive of the original COOL4Ed website. For the current version, please go to

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Check out the 149 free and open etextbooks that have been reviewed by faculty colleagues in the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California. The California OER Council developed the evaluation rubric which was used by all faculty reviewers.



Survey of Western Art from Prehistory through the Middle Ages

Survey of Western Art from Renaissance to Contemporary

Music Appreciation

Music Fundamentals

Media Aesthetics and Cinematic Arts


Financial Accounting

Managerial Accounting

Introduction to Business

Business Communication

Legal Environment of Business

Business Law

Business Information Systems


Principles of Macroeconomics


Child Growth and Development

Introduction to Education


Public Speaking

Argumentative Writing and Critical Thinking

Introduction to Literature

United States History to 1877

United States History from 1865

Introduction to Mass Communications

Introduction to Reporting and Newswriting

Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to Logic

Introduction to Spanish

Mathematics & Statistics

Introduction to Statistics

College Algebra for STEM


Calculus I Early Transcendentals

Single Variable Calculus II

Introduction to Linear Algebra

Science & Technology

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human Physiology with Lab

Organismal Biology, Ecology, Evolution

Organismal Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology

Introduction to Chemistry

General Chemistry for Science Majors Sequence A

Quantitative Analysis (Chemistry)

Organic Chemistry for Science Majors Sequence A

Computer Science Programming Concepts and Methodology

Introduction to Physical Geography with Lab

Physical Geology

Algebra/Trigonometry-Based Physics A

Social Science

Introduction to American Government

Introduction to International Relations

Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Human Sexuality

Introduction to Sociology

Social Problems

Reviewer, Textbook, and Course Selection


The CA-OER Council's survey of faculty across CCC, CSU, and UC demonstrated that faculty were concerned about the authority, reliability, and peer review of OER textbooks. The CA-OER Council created a system by which OER textbooks for 50 highly-enrolled courses across the three segments could be rigorously peer reviewed. All of the peer reviews are available, including the faculty's name and institutional affiliation. We anticipate completing reviews of at least 3 textbooks for each of the 50 courses by August 2015 with online access to the reviews by November 2015. Read below for information about course, textbook, and reviewer selection. Interested in becoming a reviewer (and you are a faculty member at a CSU, UC, or CCC), read on:

  1. Selection of the 50 courses: for the criteria to select the 50 courses, see Course Selection Criteria.
  2. Selection of OER Textbooks: OER textbooks to be reviewed in conjunction with each of the 50 courses were selected based on the following criteria: 1) Creative Commons license (CC-BY), if possible; 2) free or low cost ($30 or less); 3) able to be re-mixed, if possible (we haven't found many of these); 4) updated regularly; 5) offered in at least 2 different formats (e.g., online/pdf); and 6) maintained in an easily accessible and sustainable environment with a persistent URL.
  3. To Recommend an OER Textbook that fits the above criteria fill out this Google Form.
  4. See our list of Courses, Textbooks, and the Schedule for Review Phases.
  5. How to Become a Reviewer: Fill out the faculty survey and indicate that you'd like to review for this project (the last question in the survey). We will contact you with a request for more information. If selected for a panel (these can be competitive!), we will provide access to all of the textbooks, the review rubric, and a stipend for your reviews ($250/textbook with a minimum of 3 textbook reviews).
  6. Selecting Review Panelists: Panelists are drawn from faculty across CCC, CSU, & UC. These reviewers are self-identified based on response to the faculty survey. The selection of reviewers is competitive but is based on a balanced criteria: 1) 1 panelist from each of the 3 segments (CCC, CSU, UC); 2) balance of experience with OER materials; 3) balance of place in the career. The resulting reviews are public along with names & institutions of each faculty member. (See the other reviews on the COOL4Ed website.) The reasons for making the the reviewers' identities public is discussed in the Reviewer's Bootcamp video.
  7. What's Involved in Being a Reviewer? Watch this Reviewer's Bootcamp Video. Take a look at a sample Review Rubric.
  8. What if I'm the author of one of the OER Textbooks that has been reviewed? If you have any questions about the review or you have revised/updated your OER textbook since the published review, please contact the CA-OER Council with the update information. We will endeavor to have your textbook re-reviewed.

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