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Open Source & OER

OER Steps

Whether you are planning on adapting individual OERs to supplement your course, or adopting an entirely new OER textbook, the following steps are important to ensure students have access to the best resources available to support your instruction. 

Plan, find and create, evaluate, organize, implement

Step #1


Decide which currently used resources you would like to replace with OER.

Or, if you are redesigning an entire course, you can build in OER as you go.

Explore your options for incorporating open resources into your class. What are your end goals? Do you want to completely replace the textbook? Are you looking for interactive tools to supplement your instruction and the text? What are the important concepts and topics that you need to cover? How do you want to lay out the content? What format works best for your students? 

The best places to start are your current syllabus, textbook, and supplemental resources. 

Step #2

Find the Right Materials:

Search the repositories listed in this InfoGuide. Use advanced search options to narrow results.

In the search for open resources you may discover that the specific resource or content you need does not exist. This presents an excellent opportunity to adapt or remix, or even to create original materials for classroom use and sharing.

Hint:  Look under the "Where to Find Open Textbooks" Tab or browse OER courses or textbooks using the links below.

Step #3

Evaluate and Review:

Ensure that the materials you find align with your criteria and evaluate based on content, presentation, online accessibility, production options, platform compatibility, delivery options, interactivity, consistency between online and printed versions and available ancillary material (test banks, PowerPoints, etc.)

There are many evaluation tools available to help with the process. A few are listed below.

Step #4

Organize and Decide:

One of the benefits of OER is flexibility to modify and customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire.  If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the licensing allows that.  Different repositories will have different options for editing and publishing revised copies.

DSC Librarians are able to assist in locating OER and can also support faculty members by creating a course InfoGuide. A course site can be as simple as a list of videos and articles to watch, or as complicated as creating a detailed multi-page course guide featuring lecture notes, online tutorials, interactive learning tools, etc.

Step #5

Implement and Distribute to Students:

Whether creating original content, compiling supplemental sources, or replacing a textbook, it is impossible to fully gauge the success of a resource until it is used in class. Select the best format to distribute to your class (online, downloadable PDF, Print-on-Demand via either your campus bookstore or from the online repository.)