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Adopting Open Educational Resources

Getting Started

No matter how deep your dive into OER's may be, whether you are searching for one image or a textbook for an entire semester, your process will require you to search for and evaluate a number of resources. Because there are sometimes a large number of possibilities to sift through, it is recommended to take a step by step approach. The following may be helpful:

Before you start your search, here are the four main tasks:

► Establish some search criteria- what are the goals for the content?
Search for resources using some OER repositories
Apply quality criteria for the evaluation of the resources found
Identify whether the material needs to be adapted to align with your cohort and goals, (repurposed).

The above adapted from OERUp Project, Training Module 2, CC BY SA


Search Criteria

Some of the criteria you might apply are:

  • Quality
  • Education level
  • Organization
  • How much detail?
  • Emphasis
  • Duration of your course
  • Any existing copyright? How restrictive?

The above derived from OERUp Project, Training Module 2 CC BY SA

How is quality determined?

  • Accuracy
  • Reputation of author/institution
  • Standard of technical production
  • Accessibility
  • Fitness for purpose

(Above derived from Jics, CC BY NC ND)


Next, conduct a search

This page has lists of links to a number of OER repositories divided into those which are an index of textbooks and those which offer multimedia course content.

Evaluate Your Results

Criteria for Evaluation

The standard by which you evaluate the quality of your results may include the following:

In light of your training and subject matter expertise, does the content fulfill your goals for the course?

How is the material presented? Is the design attractive, does it support attention and learning?

Is the content immersive, presenting a variety of media?

Is it up to date?

Are authors credited as required by CC BY licenses?

Is the communication style clear and literate? Are there spelling errors?

The above is derived from OERUp, Module 3, CC BY SA


Websites which Support OER Creation

The websites listed here offer platforms for finding, adding and managing Educational content from many sources, including options for exporting to social media or instructional software.

NLN Materials, funded by the UK Government to support higher-ed learners and organizations, NLN Materials represent one of the most substantial and wide-ranging collections of e-learning materials in the UK - hundreds of small, free, flexible 'bite-sized' episodes of learning. Also, the site has excellent support content for teaching faculty how to create OER.

NOBA, for Psychology specifically, NOBA includes textbooks which can be adopted whole or adapted, with modules available to add as needed.

Teaching Commons, Educators and researchers can use the Teaching Commons to discover teaching materials, adopt content for their courses, or create and share their own work. The Teaching Commons is built on the Digital Commons platform, which offers authors a powerful set of tools-- including multimedia support, versioning, embedded comments, and geo-location, among others -- to support the large variety of publishing needs in this growing field. Searchable by insititution, (there may be some overlap with sites listed in this guide.)

BC Campus OpenED  supports the post-secondary institutions of British Columbia as they adapt and evolve their teaching and learning practices to enable powerful learning opportunities for the students of B.C. The site hosts links to open textbooks and assist in adopting and adapting the content. NOBA, psychology texts and modules which can be adapted according to need.

Lumen Learningco-founded by open-education visionary Dr. David Wiley and education-technology strategist Kim Thanos, Lumen Learning is dedicated to facilitating broad, successful adoption of OER. The site contains a list of available texts.