Creating OER

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As an instructor, you have the opportunity to create your own openly licensed learning materials or repurpose an open learning object for your own classroom. One of the many benefits of using OER is the ability to create, share, and repurpose materials without "reinventing the wheel".

The following tips, adapted from the Commonwealth of Learning guide, "Creating, Using, and Sharing Open Educational Resources”, demonstrates how to build a curriculum from open learning objects:

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel: It may not be necessary to build your own OER if similar materials exist elsewhere.

  2. Take what exists and build the course around it: Sometimes is is most useful to base a course, or a course module, around existing materials, such as a computer game or a pre-existing online course.

  3. Assemble when possible: Although it can be tempting to use materials from only one source or to create materials from scratch, it is often more efficient to mix and match modules from different sources.

  4. Move from “not invented here” to “proudly borrowed from there”: Learning objects created elsewhere are not necessarily inferior!

  5. Build flexibly for reuse and repurposing: Using a modular design approach, open formats (e.g. .doc instead of .pdf), and the least restrictive license possible, ensures that others will be able to reuse and repurpose the materials most efficiently.

  6. Design for use on mobile devices: Mobile is the future! Design accordingly.

  7. Build to standards: Using established best practices, such as a common look and feel, or using a creative commons logo to designate the license, makes sharing and adopting resources easier for everyone.

For further information on creating and sharing your own OER, check out these resources:

This is an in-depth guide on OER policy and practice at the national and international level written by 28 contributors.

Provides a useful tool to help select one of six creative commons licenses for OER you have created.