Next term (starting mid January) I am teaching a brand new course and I would like to incorporate some open educational resources (OER). The currently required text is:

Wright, L.M. & Leahy, M. (2013). Nurses and families (6th ed.). Philadelphia: F .A. Davis.

Lalmch / Pixabay

This textbook costs about $45 on Amazon. With about 80 students coming into the course I could save them a lot of money and decrease barriers to their learning if I can find a free substitute. The problem is that I am in a huge rush as textbook orders are past due, teachers are burred in meetings, marking and appointments and the new term is coming fast. Maybe someone in my personal learning network on Twitter has an idea!


There are other books assigned in the course but to my knowledge they have already been purchased for another course.


Step 1 – I need to find out what is currently assigned from the textbook so I know what I am searching for.


I do not have a copy of the assigned textbook yet. After a bit of a hunt around campus I got my hands on a copy from the Library and enlisted the help of a Librarian for the OER search.

It looks like Chapter 2 and 3 are assigned readings in the course. One is about the theoretical foundations of the Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM) and the other one is all about the CFAM. I am hopeful that an OER exists to replace this content. However, I found out that another course has adopted the text only because my course uses it. Before changing my required textbooks I need to check what other courses are using the textbook and for what. There is no point making the change in one course if students just need to buy it for another course. Now I will email the teachers in the program to find out who may be using it and for what.


My email: 

Good morning,

I am considering replacing the textbook for [Course Code] below with something freely available online. Before making such a move I need to be sure that the content from the book that we use in the program is in the resource I find. Are you aware of any assigned readings in the program from this textbook for any course?

Wright, L.M. & Leahy, M. (2013). Nurses and families (6th ed.). Philadelphia: F .A. Davis.

From what I can tell [Course code] only uses two chapters and I am hopeful that I will be able to replace this content.

I am currently using one of the books on reserve in the Library to compare content in it to resources online. If anyone has a copy of the book they are not using I would appreciate borrowing it.

Thank you,




geralt / Pixabay

Initial Directions 

A quick google search revealed a lot of articles that are behind a paywall and this Prezi 


There are better places to look for OER including the databases listed here, advanced google searches, and the creative commons search tool.


The search continues … if you have any ideas for me please comment below!





Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


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