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Open Education Resources

All about Open Education Resources including, open textbooks, open data, and how to adopt or adapt for your own courses.

OER Design Tips

  • Begin with existing open content - Look to existing collections with quality resources such as BCcampus' open textbook library. Consider materials you have already created that could be assigned a Creative Commons license and then made available online.
  • Make content accessible - Note that it is more work to make existing OER accessible than it is to create an accessible OER from the start. Look to the accessibility information in this guide. 
  • Make content adaptable - The more modular content is, the easier it is for future users to reuse it. When working on an open textbook, separate content by chapter and subchapter. If possible, provide a version of your resource in an editable format, such as .docx or Google Docs if you would like to make it easy to adapt.
  • Make content open - Select the Creative Commons license that best suits your liking, and clearly display the CC license. If you integrate other materials into your resource, select those that are open.
  • Make content discoverable - Determine the best platform for sharing your resources. Contact a librarian to provide advice on adding descriptors that make your OER discoverable.
  • Invite feedback - Evaluate your resource using the rubrics provided in this guide. Ask peers to review the resource using a common evaluation rubric. OER development is iterative, you will likely want to revisit your OER regularly.

More information:

Image attribution: design by Eucalyp from the Noun Project

Librarians can help you find and evaluate open education materials for use in your classes. You may want to evaluate resources according to the below criteria: 

  • Accuracy
  • Relevance
  • Production Quality
  • Accessibility
  • Interactivity
  • Licensing

Review the Faculty guide for Evaluating OER

A key advantage to using open textbooks is that they are inherently accessible for students. BCcampus, Camosun College, and CAPER-BC created an Accessibility Toolkit for open education. Included are resources that authors, instructional designers, educational technologists, librarians, administrators, and teaching assistants require to create truly open and accessible textbooks.

Accessible textbooks should include an accessibility statement. While not required, these statements can be important and useful additions to resources. 

An accessibility statement acts as a resource for those who have questions about the accessibility features of a resource. It should provide an overview of accessibility features and contact information in case there are any problems (BCcampus).

Chapter 11 of BCcampus' Accessibility Toolkit focuses on accessibility statements.

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