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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide provides information about Open Education Resources (OER) including where to find them, how to use them, and how to create them.

Adapt or Create

The beauty of OER material is that everything is published under an open license. That means you can adapt existing material for your courses or create brand new material to be shared with the world.

 

Black and white image of three stars moving towards one anotherAdapt

If there are OER materials available for you subject by they are either too broad, a little dated, or contain information you don't teach, you can take the existing resource and adapt it for your course. You can edit out all the material you don't need and build in the information you want to include. Adapting OER material for your course is a great idea because the bulk of the work has been done for you.

Another great way to adapt material is to gather OER resources from all over and build a "course pack" specifically for your class. You can take the textbook from one website, add a few library articles, and throw in some worksheets from another website. These packs offer a chance for you to be flexible, include new information, and share the breadth of information that is available with yours students.

Adapting material also allows you to speak directly to your students. You can include examples, images, audio, and stories that highlight the diversity and special interests of your class. 

 

Black and white image of a pencil, cloud, and lightbulbCreate

OER is still a new trend which means there are gaps in the material available. While it is likely that something related to your course exists, you may still want to create a brand new resource. This could be as simple as writing a chapter for a textbook or creating worksheets. You can also build entirely new textbooks and courses from scratch. The benefit of creating OER is that you can make something that perfectly suits your needs. Depending on your department, building OER material may also count towards your tenure activities. Creating OER not only benefits you and your students, but it also helps to build the University's reputation by showcasing the expertise of our faculty with the academic world writ large.

Tools

If you adapt or create OER material, there are publishing tools that help make your resource useful and available. The websites below can help you with adaption, creation, and publication.