This module includes information to help find, evaluate, adapt and share open educational resources to meet learning outcomes and objectives. The module also offers information on how to describe and organize OER to enable its discovery by future users.
Tips for Getting Started
Collaborative OER Curation
Centre for Teaching and Learning staff bring specific knowledge and skills to the OER curation process, as outlined below.
What Libraries Can Do
Help faculty identify existing OER materials, including alternatives to textbooks
Use advanced search skills to find exactly what faculty need
Give options for ways that students can access resources
Advise on how to make resources more accessible
Advise on issues of copyright and fair dealing
Advise on use of Creative Commons licences
What Libraries (Likely) Cannot Do
Be completely knowledgeable of your subject area
Make the final call on the quality of a resource
Choose your textbook or course material
Interfere with your academic freedom
Text a derivative of “How Libraries can Help”, in CCCOER: Faculty and Librarians Selecting High Quality OER, by Tina Ulrich, licensed under CC BY 4.0
Video Clip: The Library’s Role in OER
This webinar discusses the four key roles that libraries play in faculty adoption of OER: Researcher, curator, educator, and content creator. It also addresses the tools that library staff use in their OER-related work.
Video (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2017) from CCCOER, CC BY 4.0
Faculty, are you ready to FREE the TEXTBOOK?
The flowchart outlines just one set of collaborative opportunities for library staff to support faculty as they seek to identify open materials for their courses.
Overview of OER Curation
More than merely collecting content on a specific subject, strong curation involves carefully selecting content and evaluating it for a specific purpose. When OER are part of the curation process, content deemed useful during the evaluation process can then be customized by the curator, and re-shared for future users.
Below is a high level overview of the processes and steps involved in curating OER.
Search dedicated OER repositories and collections, including the eCampus Open Textbook Library
Build searches around keywords and material types, such as “organic chemistry textbooks," and “videos on substitution reactions”
Assess quality of the resource using robust evaluation rubrics, such as the Comprehensive OER Evaluation Tool
Assess use permissions and accessibility to meet campus requirements. Use tools like the Accessibility Checklist
Adopt or Adapt
Adopt the resource "as is" by downloading it, printing it, or linking to it.
Introductory text is a derivative of Content Curation: Finding the Needles in the Haystacks, by Christopher Lister, Roaming Educator, licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 International.
There are a multitude of OER out there to choose from, including open textbooks, courses, multimedia resources, and data. These can be found by searching regular search engines (like Google), but it is much easier to find them through dedicated OER repositories or libraries. Below is a sampling of such repositories and libraries.
In addition to the eCampus Open Textbook Library, other websites offer collections of open textbooks. Below is a sampling of these libraries, from both Canada and the U.S.
The collections of aggregated OER below are some of the larger known initiatives that are utilized by educators and library staff in Canada and elsewhere. Many of them have overlapping resources, as they curate and aggregate their content from the same content providers.
The collections listed below offer a range of multimedia resources for use and integration into teaching and learning. .
Open data may include non-textual material such as map-based data, mathematical and scientific formulae, medical data, demographic data, financial data, and so forth. The collections listed below are all freely available to use, integrate, modify and manipulate to meet local needs.
The best OER evaluation rubrics include traditional evaluative criteria that address a resource’s editorial quality. They also include criteria that address resource portability and resource effectiveness in engaging learners. Below is a sampling of rubrics that are recommended for use in evaluating OER.
Comprehensive OER Evaluation Tool
Use or adapt this OER Evaluation Tool, which was originally created by Achieve, Inc. Achieve is a US-based education nonprofit, and a leader in the development of OER evaluation rubrics.
The tool has been tailored for the OCLS post-secondary context. It is comprised of eight rubrics for assessing OER—ranging from how well the resource is aligned to learning outcomes, to the degree to which the resource meets local accessibility standards.
You can download the tool in the following formats:
Open Textbook Rubric
For open textbook reviews, you may wish to use the BC Open Textbook Review Criteria. This rubric contains criteria that much of the field uses in evaluating open textbooks. Specific criteria listed include the comprehensiveness of the textbook, the organization and flow, and the cultural relevance of the textbook content.
You can download the rubric in the following formats:
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires that institutions provide all resources in an accessible format “on-demand”. There are no specific guidelines for what is accessible-- other than it must meet the need of the student requesting the accessible format. However, as educators, we have an ethical obligation to ensure that courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities.
Unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, instructional resources can erect barriers that make learning difficult or impossible. Use the Accessibility Checklist, which has been aligned to accessibility standards. The Checklist will help to ensure that the resources you curate are accessible to all learners.
You can download the checklist in the following formats:
Adopting or Adapting OER
If you identify changes or additions you want to make to your resource based on your evaluation results, you can use the field-tested guides and tools below to help you in your alignment effort.
BC Open Faculty OER Toolkit and Open Accessibility Toolkit
Faculty OER Toolkit is guide to adapting and adopting Open Educational Resources. Included are definitions and examples, information about Creative Commons licensing, and tips on how to adapt and/or adopt OER for classroom use.
The BC Open Accessibility Toolkit offers resources and guidelines to support content creators in creating truly open and accessible textbooks. The BC Open Accessibility Toolkit is a collaboration between BCcampus and the Centre for Accessible Post-secondary Education Resources BC (CAPER-BC).
Pressbooks for eCampusOntario Members
Free access to a Pressbooks EDU account for anyone currently affiliated with one of our member institutions . Pressbooks is an online formatting and publishing system that makes it easy to create professional, well-formatted print and digital resources. Pressbooks is a Canadian-built, open source tool built on WordPress.
Open Author Module Builder
Module Builder is a tool that allows authors to create both student and instructor facing content views. Authors are encouraged to include overviews, pedagogical supporting text, and instructions for both students and other users of the resource.
Module Builder is a tool available through OER Commons and its suite of Open Author tools.
MERLOT Content Builder
MERLOT’s Content Builder provides templates for creating tailored websites with a variety of designs, including e-portfolio structures, lesson plans, online courses, and others.
The OER Toolkit was a developed by Colleges Libraries Ontario (CLO) and the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).