OER Commons uses a variety of categories and labeling to organize our resources and help you find what you need. The categories are assigned by the resources' creators and the OER Commons administrators, and describe various aspects of the items, including grade level, subject area, and material type. The full list of categories is as follows:

  • Subject areas. There are six broad subject areas for individual items, and each item may have multiple subject areas.
    • Arts: includes art, art history, cinema, dance, fine arts, music, photography, theatre, and visual arts.
    • Business: includes accounting, e-commerce, economics, finance, international business, management, and marketing.
    • Humanities: includes history, language and literature, library and information studies, linguistics, philosophy, religion, rhetoric, world languages, writing, language arts, debate, grammar, journalism, phonics, reading, speaking, spelling, storytelling, and vocabulary.
    • Mathematics and Statistics: includes mathematics, statistics and probability, algebra, arithmetic, calculus, geometry, measurement, number theory, and trigonometry.
    • Science and Technology: includes agriculture, architecture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, digital media, engineering, environmental, geology, health policy, health sciences, information technology, nanotechnology, physics, psychiatry, physical education, sports and fitness, life sciences, earth science, ecology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology, pharmacology, physical sciences, and space sciences.
    • Social Sciences: includes anthropology, archaeology, business law, communication studies, criminal justice, education, gender studies, geography, law, political science, psychology, sociology, social studies, civics, current events, human behavior, human relations, social work, state history, United States history, urban studies.
  • Grade levels
    • Primary includes items for kindergarten to grade 6, (lower and upper elementary school grades.)
    • Secondary includes items for grades 7 to 12 (junior high/middle school and high school grades.)
    • Post-secondary includes items for higher education, college, university, graduate school, professional development, and training.
  • Material types: Seventeen categories describe the features of the item, and each item may have multiple material types. Sample material types include textbooks, video lectures, lesson plans, games, and simulations.
  • Media formats uses the following values to describe the item’s media format: audio, downloadable document, graphics/photos, text/html, video, and other.
  • Courses/Libraries: Course-related materials include full courses, and learning modules. Libraries may include collections of primary sources, teaching and learning strategies, or other types of materials.