By Frank Ponte AALIA (CP) Academic/Research, Manager, Library Services (Teaching), RMIT University Library, firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many ways to engage with open educational resources (OERs). Start your journey with these five easy steps.
1. Understand the language of OER:
Open: Free to share adapt or modify.
Free: Free to access but not necessarily allowed to share adapt or modify.
Fair use: An American phrase that permits limited use of material for educational purposes in the United States. In Australia, we are bound by several educational licenses set out within the Copyright Act 1968.
Public Domain: Works that are publicly available because intellectual property rights have expired or been forfeited.
All Rights Reserved: Copyright holder reserves, or holds for their own use, all the rights provided by copyright law.
Badge your content with a CC license and host it on a shareable platform. By doing so we:
- contribute to the Creative Commons worldwide repository.
- increase our professional connections and reach through attribution.
- build a large collection of locally created and customisable content.
- have access to a broader selection of adaptable materials
- streamline our workflows.
Librarians have an entrenched ethos of sharing. Become experts at curating OER content and sharing your original and remixed resources.
textbooks, courses, course materials, Interactive simulations, public domain books, audiobooks, modules, open access books, videos, podcasts, learning objects, primary resources
Use Metafinders to help uncover materials quickly.
Here are some shareable materials from RMIT University Library.
4. Collaborate, Customise & Co-Create:
Here are some examples:
Customise – Remix an OER by adding your original content with adapted content for your audience. Example: Social Science Research: Principles, Methods and Practices (Revised edition) is an Australian University remixed textbook that has modified the original work to include editing and formatting changes and the inclusion of content in Chapter 16 to describe the Australian context.
Make OERs culturally specific: Localise content to an Australian audience. It can be as simple as using Australian names and places or using local case studies.
Example: A Charles Darwin University academic teaching Cultural Capability has added four case study chapters written by students.
RMIT University Library host the Open Textbook Initiative and is interested in highlighting student textbook affordability by building a student savings bank when academic staff adopt an OER textbook in their teaching. This initiative is open to all Universities to participate. Tell us if you are using and OER Textbook in your teaching practice by filling in this form.
If you’re interested in reading more on OER, have a look at this recently published article by Frank Ponte, Anne Lennox and Jennifer Hurly.
The Evolution of the Open Textbook Initiative. https://doi.org/10.1080/24750158.2021.1883819