Day 9: Open Education Resources

The author of today’s blog entry is not a fan of acronyms –  least of all ones that are repeated constantly by someone trying to sell you, or at least enthuse you with an idea. It puts me off!  So, it may help you simply to think of OER (Open Education Resources) as this:  learning objects that the author and/or copyright holder has decided to share with you to use in your teaching. OK?

“Open Education Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” (Atkins et al. 2007, p 4)

Atkins, D.E., Brown, J.S. & Hammond, A.L. (2007). A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement:

Watch the following video (from around 1 min to 4 mins): It shows clearly how you might work with these objects. Remember, when you use these objects you are saving time and money, and often get a chance to use objects that you wouldn’t normally be able to create yourself.

‘That all sounds great! So where can I find them?’

Well, there were a few mentioned in the video above – OERs appear across the web on many platforms.  YouTube, iTunes U, Vimeo being a few of the better-known platforms.  They also appear within University webpages, and are also gathered together in OER directories and search engines.

DID YOU KNOW Anglia Ruskin University has an iTunesU presence that has had tens of thousands of views and downloads across the planet?

Why not have a look on  iTunes, on your phone or computer, do a search for ‘Cardiac Arrest Simulation’ see what you find. Have you ever suggested to your students that they might find useful information on iTunesU?

TASK: I invite you to browse OER COMMONS for something related to your subject. Let us know what you find in the comment box below.

Making OERs and becoming more attuned to OEP (Open Education Practice).

So why are people doing this? Well, it would be naïve to say that releasing great content to be reused doesn’t have a positive effect for universities. Also, perhaps if we contribute to the OER pot as it were, maybe we could help each other to get where we are going much quicker. There’s also an ethical value to OERs.

This video was created by Blink Tower (Cape Town, South Africa) for a 2012 video competition ( to explain why OER Matters.

How do I make them?

You can make learning objects, specifically designed to make it easier to be reused; making shorter videos, that can be employed just for succinct points, or making the design code open for editing, for example.

However, to indicate to the world that you wish to share, and under what terms you wish to share your work/learning objects, you must attribute a license. This is very easily done:

Creative Commons:

Here’s the page for the License Chooser

Here’s a wiki on how to apply your CC license

 Here are some search engines and useful tools:

Click this for ‘80 Open Education Resource (OER) Tools for Publishing and Development Initiatives

  • Jorum Most of the directories have the functionality to gather resources together, and share them.
  • Merlot Go and have a look at Merlot – the functionality is inspiring. There is a strong sense of community on the site. I can see that 5 people from Anglia Ruskin University have registered to it. I’d hazard that this is because people just don’t’ know about it.
  • xpert Watch the video below  – they have nearly 400,000 resources and counting.

Subject specific repositories:

Share with us what you find in the comments box.

Today’s Christmas quiz

Ah, go on go on go on go on click here

 Yesterday’s answer:

A rather awkward meeting of two icons David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing ‘Little Drummer Boy’ in 1977.


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