Open Education Handbook/Finding and using OER

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Finding OER[edit]

Though a Google search can often provide many relevant results (tip use Google Advanced Search: filter by "Usage Rights") several search engines exist to help users find Open Educational Resources. The list from the OER Info Kit includes:

  • OCWFinder - "search, recommend, collaborate, remix"
  • Temoa - "a knowledge hub that eases a public and multilingual catalog of Open Educational Resources (OER) which aims to support the education community to find those resources and materials that meet their needs for teaching and learning through a specialized and collaborative search system and social tools."
  • University Learning = OCW+OER = Free custom search engine - a meta-search engine incorporating many different OER repositories (uses Google Custom Search)
  • XPERT - "a JISC funded rapid innovation project (summer 2009) to explore the potential of delivering and supporting a distributed repository of e-learning resources created and seamlessly published through the open source e-learning development tool called Xerte Online Toolkits. The aim of XPERT is to progress the vision of a distributed architecture of e-learning resources for sharing and re-use."
  • OER Dynamic Search Engine - a wiki page of OER sites with accompanied search engine (powered by Google Custom Search)
  • The UNESCO OER Toolkit links to further useful, annotated resources and repositories.
  • Jisc Digital Media maintain guidance on finding video, audio and images online, including those licensed as Creative Commons.
  • OER Glue - tool aiming to facilitate course building by 'stitching' together OERs from a range of sources
  • Creative Commons Search is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations
  • DiscoverEd is a search prototype developed by Creative Commons to explore metadata enhanced search, specifically for OER
  • Jorum is the UK's largest repository for discovering and sharing Open Educational Resources for HE, FE and the Skills sector.
  • OpenCourseware Consortium / Open Education Consortium is a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education and its impact on global education.
  • Find OER - guidance from the Open Professionals Education Network
  • OER Commons is a worldwide learning network of shared teaching and learning materials made freely available online.
  • Curriki - a nonprofit organization who provide open educational resources primarily in support of K-12 education
  • Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation and based on an openly editable model.
  • Project Gutenberg provides free, high quality e-books
  • Connexions / Openstax College provide open textbooks.
  • CK-12 Foundation is a California-based non-profit organization whose stated mission is to reduce the cost of, and increase access to, K-12 education in the United States and worldwide.
  • TED Education provide lesson content that can be remixed.
  • SMartHistory - a multimedia web-book about art and art history
  • Livebinders - online content curation
  • Solvonauts is an open education search engine.
  • Open Education database provides a range of ways of navigating and finding open content.

Using OER[edit]

The JISC publication A guide to OERs offers some advice in using OER. Develop a clear rationale along with credible business and benefit cases, perhaps using examples from elsewhere in your institution.

  • OER may be of interest to almost anyone in your organisation from library staff to learners to academics or marketing professionals
  • Build on previous work, tap into staff expertise and capitalise on the enthusiasm that already exists
  • Help staff develop the necessary skills and knowledge to create and use open educational resources
  • Support changes in teaching practice through awareness-raising, workshops, capacity building and communities of practice
  • Create a culture of openness across the institution
  • Find ways to reward and recognise staff members who create and use open educational resources
  • Consider building open educational resources into the approval processes for your virtual learning environment
  • Take an incremental approach starting with the low-hanging fruit
  • Adapt existing policies (relating to intellectual property, learning, teaching and assessment) where they already exist to create a gentle, less threatening transition towards openness
  • Alternatively, initiate a new special open educational resources policy to act as a powerful signal that the institution is fully committed to supporting implementation
  • Embed the creation and use of open educational resources into other institutional activities to make it more sustainable