4 OER in Practice

How are OER developed and used?

There are four ways to include OER in your teaching practice:

  1. Create OER  from scratch to meet the specific needs of your teaching or learning community. Learners can also create OER as open and renewable assessment tasks.
  2. Adopt an OER produced by others if it is aligned with your learners’ needs.
  3. Adapt an existing OER to contextualise it to your learners’ own environment, culture or learning goals. Learners can also adapt existing OER as an open and renewable assessment task.
  4. Remix by combining elements of existing OER to produce new educational resources. Learners can also remix existing OER as an open and renewable assessment task.

This toolkit will step you through what you need to get started with developing and using OER in your teaching practice.

Part I has introduced you to the concepts of open education and OER-enabled pedagogy, and outlined their significance.  At the end of this chapter you’ll find inspiration for determining what your contributions could be to the OER movement.

In Part II you will learn about open licensing, the cornerstone of OER that determines how they can be used and reused. You’ll want to understand this fully if you intend to create an OER, or to adopt, adapt or remix existing ones.

Part III will help you discover and evaluate OER for your teaching contexts.  You may find just what you need, or you may find good starting points for adopting or remixing OER to make them more relevant to your students.

Part IV provides the tools for adapting OER which are not quite right for your students, for remixing from existing OER, or to go all-out and create an OER specifically for your cohort.

Finally, in Part V you will develop your understanding of open pedagogy principles and practices, their impact, and considerations for their use, including diversity and inclusion.

Watch the video below or read about RMIT’s OER Textbook Heroes  for inspiration.

ED Talks – Open Educational Resources (3:14 mins)

(Ed Talks: Open Education Resources by College of Business and Law, RMIT University and James Galpa-Grossklag is licenced under a CC BY (Attribution) licence)

Determine what your contributions could be to the OER movement

In 2007 at a small conference in Cape Town, South Africa, a declaration was proposed.

Cape Town Open Education Declaration: Unlocking the promise of open educational resources

We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together.[1]

There are so many ways to participate. For the tenth anniversary of the declaration 10 key themes were articulated – The Cape Town 10 [PDF download]. Explore these below and consider how you can advance the open movement.[2]

1. Communicating open: taking the message of open education to the mainstream

2. Empowering the next generation: the open education movement must put the next generation at its core

3. Connecting with other open movements: open education can grow stronger through collaboration with allied movements

4. Open education for development: unlocking new opportunities for education in support of development

5. Open pedagogy: harnessing the power of open in teaching and learning practices

6. Thinking outside the institution: enabling everyone, everywhere, to learn anything

7. Data and analytics: exploring the intersection of open content, open data, and open learning analytics

8. Beyond the textbook: building the open learning materials of the future

9. Opening up publicly funded resources: publicly funded educational resources should be openly licensed by default

10. Copyright reform for education: copyright reform and open education advocacy are two sides of the same coin

(Adapted from Cape Town Open Education Declaration 10th Anniversary: Ten directions to move Open Education forward is licensed under CC BY 4.0)

  1. Cape Town Open Education Declaration. (2008). https://www.capetowndeclaration.org/read/ CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
  2. Cape Town Open Education Declaration 10th Anniversary: Ten Directions to Move Open Education Forward. (2018). [PDF] https://www.capetowndeclaration.org/wp-content/uploads/cpt10-booklet.pdf CC BY 4.0


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OER Capability Toolkit Copyright © 2022 by RMIT University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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