You will want to consider your learning objectives before starting an OER project: What would you like the OER to do for you and your students? Consider also the educational value of the creation process itself and how these steps engage with your desired learning outcomes. As noted by David Wiley, OER creation typically entails the following:
1. Find: Searching for OERs may involve use of search engines, repositories, and individual websites, as well as offline materials.
2. Compose: Piece together resources that you've found with others that you may have created yourself.
3. Adapt: If you are using other resources, you will likely need to adapt them for your students and your local context. Be sure that borrowed materials have licenses allowing modifications.
4. Use: Use the resource in a class.
5. Share: Publish your OER so others can find and reuse it.
You will want to take into account effective instructional design when creating your OER. Use repetition, frameworks, meaningful names, hierarchies, and careful presentation of new elements to help students absorb information from your textbook or resource. Take a look at these five rules of textbook development by BCcampus.
Think about students with disabilities as you begin creating your OER. Students who use screen readers or other assistive technologies will benefit if you pay attention to hierarchy in your textbook, describe images with alt tags, caption your videos and include transcripts, and follow other best practices. BCcampus has created this helpful Open Education Accessibility Toolkit that you might consult as you get started.
If you want your students to be able to easily access and use your OER, consider the file format that you're selecting. For textbooks, ePub is often the most accessible format for those who want to read your OER using a mobile device. This guide from the University of Leicester explains how to create ePubs. BCCampus has also provided this table comparing textbook formats in terms of openness and mobility.
Licensing is key when you're looking at incorporating existing resources into your OER. If you want to adapt an existing resources, you'll want to make sure that it's licensed to allow modifications (OR that you get the author's permission to adapt their material).
Several Creative Commons licenses allow remixing. Look for these when you're collecting materials for your project (especially if you know that you want to adapt existing content): CC Attribution (CC BY), CC Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY NC), CC Attribution Share-Alike (CC BY SA), CC Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (CC BY NC SA). See the chart below for summaries of these licenses.
When you're remixing OER, you will want to know how to properly cite other people's work. All Creative Commons licenses come with the expectation of attribution, even if you are adapting content. Check out this attribution builder from Open Washington and this explanation of attribution statements by BCcampus. In your citation, be sure to include:
Here's a sample citation for an adapted work:
As you finish your OER, here are a few last things to consider before sharing it with others:
Once you've finished your OER, you have lots of options for sharing it with others. Here are a few tools that may help: