Documentation:Open UBC/Create/How

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There are many things to consider when creating OER, some of which differ depending on the medium of the resource (text, video, audio, etc.). In what follows we provide some general advice that applies to the creation of most types of OER.

Considering format for reusability

Just making materials available for free doesn't mean they are maximally usable. Sometimes the format in which the materials are found can make editing and reusing them difficult.

David Wiley suggests using the ALMS framework for ensuring that OER meet the 5 "R's" of open: ability to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute.

  1. Access to editing tools: Is the material in a format that requires expensive or difficult to find tools to edit it? Or is it editable by using software that is accessible to many, in terms of cost and availability? If the materials require that you edit them with an obscure or discontinued tool, then that is a problem for accessibility.
  2. Level of expertise required: Does editing the material using the software needed to do so require a great deal of technical expertise, or is it fairly easy to learn how to do? As an example, material in a word-processing format that is widely used requires less technical expertise than materials that are posted in Github and require coding knowledge to edit.
  3. Meaningfully editable: Some formats are very hard or impossible to revise or remix; Wiley gives the example of images of handwritten text documents. PDFs are also not easy for everyone to edit without paying for expensive software, though free PDF readers are providing more and more editing capabilities as the years go by. Text files are usually quite easy to edit, revise, remix. Another example can be considered with audio files--finished mp3s may be harder to edit than audio source files that split out different tracks (such as can be done with a free program called Audacity).
  4. Self-sourced: Wiley explains, "Is the format preferred for consuming the open content the same format preferred for revising or remixing the open content (e.g., HTML)?" If the formats are different, this also makes the material less accessible for revision and remixing.



DIY media

UBC has an excellent resource for do-it-yourself media, such as podcasting or other audio, screencasting or other video, animations, annotated presentations, and more. See the DIY Media site.

There you will find information on best practices for creating media, hardware and software available to use or borrow, spaces to book for recording, and information about what support is available. There is also a section with an extensive list of research about using audiovisual media for teaching and learning.

Sharing the process, not just the product

Often when we think about creating and sharing teaching and learning resources, we think about sharing finished products--we might share a video we've created, or a presentation, a set of lecture notes, an animation, etc. That's something others can use and build on (if you've licensed your materials for reuse and revision), but it can also be extremely valuable to share the process you went through to create the materials.

Sharing your process can mean many things, such as talking about how you made a teaching resource such as a video or podcast (what tools, software, what steps you took, pitfalls you ran into), describing why you created the resource in the way you did (what goals you had, whether you were guided by research), explaining how you have used the resource in a class and whether it was successful, and more. Others can benefit from what you have learned about the purpose and process for what you've made!

How can you share your process? One way to do so is to have a blog on teaching and learning. UBC provides faculty, staff and students with a free blog site on UBC Blogs. The FAQ on the UBC Blogs page has extensive information to help you get started, and information about drop-in support if you need it.


Choosing a license


Where to put the OER you've created

Once you have created some Open Educational Resources and licensed them as you wish, you may wonder: where do I put them so others may find and use them? There are several options:

  • If you have a public blog, you could post them there. This isn't maximally findable by others, but search engines might pick up on your OER, depending on what people search for.
  • If you have a public course site (which you can create on UBC Blogs, for example), you could post them there. See this example, in Philosophy at UBC:
  • You could post them to an OER repository. UBC Library has an excellent guide to high-quality, peer-reviewed OER repositories to which you could submit your materials.
  • Where to put images, videos, slide presentations, etc.