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Open Educational Resources and Penn State Abington Library

This guide is about Open Educational Resources and support at the Penn State Abington Library

Why Create OER?

Creating OER can:

  • Increase student retention by reducing costs and increasing access
  • Assure academic freedom to modify or add content to your specifications
  • Extend your academic profile
  • Provide more relevant and engaging materials for students

"BCOER Poster" by BCcampus is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Design Tips for OER

"Creating Open Educational Resources" by Abbey Elder is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Creating an OER follows the same process as creating any other teaching materials, including textbooks. The only difference is the license you ultimately attach to the work. The open licenses also allow for more flexibility in reusing existing resources so that you don't always have to create everything from scratch to make an idea resource. 

Below is a list design tips to create sharable, reusable OER:

  • Start with what’s there: Look to existing collections with quality resources such as Open Textbook Library. Also consider materials that you've created, which may be available offline.
  • Make it accessible: It's important to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners. Note that it is more work to make existing OER accessible than it is to create an accessible OER from the start. Use the accessibility checklist to guide your work.
  • Make it adaptable: The more modular your content is, the easier it is for future users to reuse it. If you’re working on an open textbook, separate your content by chapter and subchapter. If possible, provide a version of your resource in an editable format, such as .docx or Google Docs.
  • Make it open: Select and clearly display the Creative Commons license for your resource. If you integrate other materials into your resource, select those that are open. See the Copyright & Creative Commons page for information on choosing a suitable open license, or contact the OAER team for help.
  • Make it discoverable: Work with us to determine the best platform for sharing the resource with others. Our team can also advise you on adding appropriate descriptors that make your OER discoverable.

"The OER Toolkit" by Colleges Libraries Ontario (CLO) and the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

OER Authoring Guides

Creation Tools

Choosing the creation tool that is right for you

Before selecting a creation tool out of the many choices, consider the following questions when selecting a tool:

  1. What technology platforms am I already comfortable using? Do I want to learn to use a new tool as I author my OER?
  2. What technology platforms are my audience most comfortable using? Will authoring or publishing in a particular platform require them to learn a new tool?
  3. If someone wants to reuse or adapt my content, will it be simple for them to do that with the format(s) I've made available? 
  4. Do I have budget to pay for access to a tool or for advanced features in an otherwise free tool?

"Open Educational Resources University of Texas LibGuide" by Heather Walter is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0