OER in 30 minutes: Part 1

oer image

Welcome to 30 minutes of Open Education Resources:

Hello and welcome. The aim of these two short sessions is to introduce you to the idea of OER and OEP (Open Education Practice). I’ll give you tools to find, use and hopefully, make your resources open to an education-hungry world. The outcome will be that you will know how to tap into and use a vast number of resources to enrich your research and the learning experience of your students.

Digital Badge

I’m please to say we’ve introduced a digital badge to this course.  Complete the tasks and make comments to earn your digital badge which proves you have engaged with the course, and can be added to your C.V/LinkedIn profile, CPD work profile. If you haven’t done so already, please pop along to Credly,  set up an account fro yourself, with your work email address.


You should be able to see an option to ‘follow’ this blog on this page – if you hover your mouse over the bottom right of this page – please click on that and enter your email – this will enable you to contribute to the comments, which will be beneficial for both of us.  

If you can’t see the ‘follow’ option, not to worry, you can still read the posts, and email me any comments –  jason.williams@anglia.ac.uk  

Challenges in Education

We live in a world with more information than we know what to do with – and when we sit down to research our work we have that world at our fingertips.  Yet, as we know, not all of it can be used, trusted, and copied legally, not all of it is good information, and not all of it can be easily referenced.

We also have a significant challenge in that media/webpages/course materials etc, are time-consuming and expensive to create, and being a student is an increasingly expensive activity.

‘What’s all that got to do with OERs, and how do they help?’

There are masses of free, amazing, professional academic resources on the web made by universities and companies all over the planet, that you are allowed, even invited, to use, re-purpose and embed into your teaching and research.

“Open Education Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” (Atkins et al. 2007, p 4)

Atkins, D.E., Brown, J.S. & Hammond, A.L. (2007). A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement:

Here’s a short video which explains:


A little bit of history for you (some of it is quite fascinating):

History of OERs

”That all sounds great! So where can I find them?”

OERs appear across the web on many platforms; YouTube, iTunes U, Vimeo being a few of the better known platforms. They also appear within University webpages, and are also gathered together in OER directories and search engines.  (We will explore those next time).

TOOL: CREATIVE COMMONS SEARCH TOOL is a fantastic way of searching for OERs that have been tagged under the Creative Commons use. If you are not aware of what Creative Commons is, have a look here. It’s at the centre of the idea of OERs.

TASK:  Use the CREATIVE COMMONS SEARCH  tool to find a piece of video, and a photograph/or diagram, plus some text that would be useful for a module you are teaching right now.  If you are not teaching, then pick something you are interested in. (I just chose Wilfred Owen.) Please share the links in the reply box below.

DID YOU KNOW? Anglia Ruskin University has an iTunes U presence that has had tens of thousands of views and downloads across the planet.

OPTIONAL TASK: If you have iTunes on your phone or computer do a search for ‘Cardiac Arrest Simulation’. The videos on there created by Anglia Ruskin (me, in fact) are the only information on that subject across the entire iTunes platform (not just the iTunes U part of it).  Have you ever suggested to your students that they might find useful information on iTunes U?

DID YOU KNOW? Anglia Ruskin University staff and students have access to millions of programmes films and radio programmes which can be embedded, used in class/VLE/assignments, quoted and referenced via Box of Broadcasts?

EXTRA TASK: I invite you to browse OER COMMONS for something related to your subject. Let me know what you find in the comment box below.

Here’s a few more things you might like to have a quick look at:

  • RES: a brilliant new idea that could change the face of pulling free resources together. Click the link and watch the video on their front page for info.
  • Whether you teach English or not these examples of freely available resources are stunning  – Folio and Resources

Next Session:

Well, I hope you have already found something useful from today’s short session.  I know every time I go looking for OERs I end up finding something new and incredible, and certainly things that I would not have the time, money or skills to create myself. This is not, however, just a story about getting free resources from reputable sources – another important aspect is that sharing resources across the globe can lead to incredible things happening.

In the next post we will be looking at OER directories and search engines, some really cool resources, and also why you might consider making your resources open to the world.  Here’s a video on that to whet your appetite. See you tomorrow.

This video was created by Blink Tower (Cape Town, South Africa) for a 2012 video competition (http://whyopenedmatters.org/index.html) to explain why OER Matters.


21 thoughts on “OER in 30 minutes: Part 1

    1. Quaco Cloutterbuck

      Hello Jason, I really like your site. I am very interested in OER’s, their use and Open Education Practice (OEP). I like the manageable 30 minute approach to presenting your information, it is very user friendly. I am a big supporter of Free Software and Open software use. I think OER create public space or an education commons in digital education space that is highly commodified. I am very interested in learning more about creating OER and remixing OER for formal and informal learning. Your inclusion of the CC search tool was very helpful.

      I try to use OER in my teaching. I use videos from youtube and open licensed material from The internet Archive (https://archive.org/index.php) and The OER Commons https://www.oercommons.org/

      I look forward to taking part 2 of your course……..Nice work

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Susan Walker

    I teach in Health and the resources are harder to find for this topic, when looking for images or videos. But I am amazed at some of the courses and ready made lectures in e.g. public health, that are available on OER commons.


  2. Peter Brown

    Re TASK:
    Some good resources found. These were very interesting (to me at least)!
    You Tube: Ants defending aphids from ladybeetles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxkqj6RfNNE
    Flickr: 22-spot ladybird – https://www.flickr.com/search/?l=deriv&q=psyllobora

    I found it difficult to get to relevant appropriate resources amongst a huge array of information… I guess if a really good provider is found then this could be very useful…


  3. Martin Alpin

    I managed to find some relevant items on one of my disciplines but very little on the main one, possibly because it is a little esoteric. I had heard od iTunesU and have used it for my own studies so I will certainly consider it for the ARU coursework when I do updates. Again, I was aware of the Box of Broadcasts but haven’t really looked into it before.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s session!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheryl Greyson

    I’ve had a really good look but I can’t find anything relevant on the OER links. I can see it might be useful if you wanted to show students something generic. I do however use YouTube frequently for fantastic videos to introduce a topic or provide some thoughts for discussion. I particularly like the little cartoon style ones where they draw as they speak. But as I’m old enough to remember when the internet exploded into life, I’d say it only because useful because people recognised the value and started adding content. If you give an element of great content away for free online, people will wonder what you don’t give away for free and indeed what extra value they could get from studying with you, etc.


  5. Emmanuel Oghosanine

    I found creative commons very useful because it has a lot of content in my subject area and what I like about it is that I could find videos and images useful in delivering very important topics in entrepreneurship and global business. I think this tool would be an added asset in preparing quality lectures and seminars.


  6. Katerina Sidiropoulou

    Indeed, a useful session that introduces handy educational resources/materials.
    Below you will find an interesting broadcast that I found in SOUNDCLOUD which relates to my work and teaching.

    I will always support OER. Many thanks Jason!


  7. adaml50

    Some terrific resources Jason – thank you for flagging them. The RES site seems to be in very early stages of development and hopefully will become much more useful as it matures and evolves.


  8. Kim

    I need to hunt a bit to find relevant resources in my field – English law – but its useful to know that there are more resources out there than just the usual suspects.


  9. Jason

    Thanks for this excellent resource. I found a very useful site through a commons search to use on the pre-sessional course I teach on. I will be making use of this search feature for sure. Thanks again


  10. Carol Ellis

    Hello Jason, just received the link, hope I’m not too late, looking forward to learning about some new technologies, Carol


  11. Carina O'Reilly

    Seems like a decent shortcut for quality stuff – searching through Google alone tends to throw up gazillions of second-rate student-produced resources.


  12. Karen Sykes

    I am a bit of a technophobe but I have really enjoyed the 2 sessions and will be more confident to use this medium in future. Thank you



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