OER in 30 minutes: Part 2

Welcome back. I hope you found something you could use in your teaching or research yesterday.  Not to worry if you didn’t manage to get started. This is a very quick introductory course, so you can catch up in minutes.

Actually finding useful resources can be as much a task as making the resource when you first start to search for OER.  Certainly for me there seemed to be more information telling us how amazing OERs are, than actual resources.

In today’s session we will explore the following:

  • Tips on how to find resources by exploring OER search engines and repositories
  • How to use OERs
  • How to make your resources open, and why it would be a wonderful thing for you to do so.

Exploring the OER search engines, repositories and directories

Yesterday we mentioned iTunes U and the general video platforms like Vimeo and YouTube. We also looked at a great tool on the CC site tool – I hope you got chance to look and use that. There are, however, a number of organised areas set up to help you find and use these wonderful OER resources.


OER websites

TASK: Have a search for the same subject on the above repositories and pull together a group of resources you would find useful in your teaching. I had to drag myself away from a Yale course on Milton’s poetry from the Milton site.  (It makes me think about the times I spent in bookshops in the early 90’s with pen and paper, trying to broaden my reading list for my English degree, and how things have opened up and changed for us all.)

The post a link to something you have found useful in the comments section of this blog post.


How to use OER

It would, I think, be stating the obvious that you can either share links to resources, or in many cases copy and paste the embed code given by many OERs into your VLE, web page etc. You could also invite your students to use the tools and sites mentioned in these sessions to find them for themselves. I like the idea of encouraging your students to search for, and share, the very best resources they come across.

Mixing it up

However, there is a little more to it than just downloading images and re-purposing test questions, for example, from various sources.  It’s at this point where things get a little more involved – but believe me it’s worth it! Jump to 1 min on the follow video: Here’s the page for the Licence Chooser Here’s a wiki on how to apply your CC licence

How to make an OER

I invite you watch the following video on how to create OER. There’s some overlap with the previous  video. OERs can be uploaded to the directories mentioned in the first part of this session, and/or hosted by the University/any platform and tagged appropriately.  I think it’s important to see that it is not necessary to create an OER as such, if resources are already exist. But it is important to label them if you wish them to be used.  Though there are ways of designing resources so they work well as OERs, it’s as much about labelling meta data and licences.


I’ll admit, I’m kind of throwing this section in at the last minute, as I found a few really nice tools not only for checking OER accessibility, but checking your own course work, I think the first one is superb:

www.stemreader.org.uk – they’re looking for beta testers –  it reads maths equations.

slidewiki.org – resources for making your OER or just you general course materials accessible.

www.pave-pdf.org/index.en.html – four steps to an accessible PDF

Really useful check list.

So why would you share?

Imagine what we might achieve if we shared, and contributed, and shared… Not only could we save ourselves time and money, we could help each other grow within the no only in the UK but further afield. Have a quick read of this webpage for more information.

I think this is wonderful: OER Africa


I’m probably going over the 30 minute slot here, many apologies. Once you start looking at these things it is easy to become engrossed in some wonderful resources. Whether it’s watching TED ED lectures or playing around with the Flash files I showed you from Core Materials above, or viewing  free Open University courses on iTunes.  I very much hope you have found something within these two sessions to use in your teaching.  I also hope you have been inspired to make some of your resources available.  I think it might be useful for me to do another session looking at putting resources together using OERs and also how we make them.


Please post a comment about something you have found interesting or useful in this course or related to OER.

Activity 2:  I will forward on a survey to assess how useful you have found this introduction to OER. Please fill it out so I can continue to improve the course. Many thanks, Jason Williams


12 thoughts on “OER in 30 minutes: Part 2

  1. Melanie

    Thanks – the intro is nice and manageable and I quickly get an overview of what OER actually is! Looking forward to part 2 now. Sorry about delay in starting!


      1. petermjbrown

        Thanks – link to Jorum now works and this seemed the best resource bank for my field (lots of potentially interesting ecology materials). Merlot looked good – and very well organised – but many of the resources I found there were aimed at school children. The main issue with all of this is having the time to trawl through to find useful material. Looking at each resource may take a few minutes. But this is a good start and some great links have been provided.


  2. Sue

    I have been using clips on my VLE and have found this a useful course for ideas for further development in the VLE. Another session would be good


  3. Martin Alpin

    Hi Jason, I left a comment on part 1 but it never appeared…
    Thanks for these two sessions, they make a very easily digestible introduction to OER. Martin


  4. Quaco Cloutterbuck

    Hello Jason. Thank you for another informative lesson. This semester I use Crash Course youtube videos in my teaching. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6b17PVsYBQ0ip5gyeme-Q

    I use them as resources for my student’s informal learning. Many of my students were unfamiliar with The Renaissance and The Reformation (they were mentioned in our reading). On our module blog I posted a brief overview of The Italian Renaissance and the Reformation from crash course to allow students to have an informal way of sparking their curiosity or to learn in an informal setting about topics that are tangentially related to our study. The videos have a CC 4.0 licenses

    I also like a Free Software ebook resource called Project Gutenberg.


  5. Emmanuel Oghosanine

    This course is an eye opener with regards to the level of knowledge and resource that is available out there. I found a lot of resources relating to my subject area entrepreneurship and global business. What is particularly interesting, is that there is a significant amount of relevant industry materials that could be used in enforcing academic theories. I believe preparing lectures and seminars knowing this platform exist would be easy and students would find learning interesting because of the creative content. However, I think some of the platforms would require some form of registration especially those related to educational apps but it’s free anyway.


  6. Katerina Sidiropoulou

    I am impressed with the vast range of online repositories and other educational tools. So far, Jisc (under the digital content section), Jorum, Open Learning (OpenLearn-Open University) as well as Google Scholar are quite useful to me because I can find a variety of law-related material. Also, I quite often attend online distance learning courses in Coursera, Open2Study and edX. Thank you for this informative course!


  7. Nektarios Tzempelikos

    I found so many different OER sources that I was not aware of. I think that Google Scholar will be particularly useful for my teaching. Often students are struggling with using academic sources (e.g. journal articles, monographs) at their work, as often they don’t have access to or they don’t know where to find them all in one place. Google scholar can provide students a great amount of academic sources, many of them can be viewed/ downloaded at no cost, as well as information on where these sources are cited. A great tool for someone who wants to find sufficient academic material and for, any reason, he/she struggling to.



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