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Faculty Resource Guide

This libguide provides information on a wide range of issues of relevance to faculty including how to link to library resources, what you can and cannot put into Moodle, Open Content Sites, and Information about new Scholarly Communication Hubs.

What Are Open Educational Resources?
 

Open Educational Resources (aka OERs) are educational sesources such as Text Books, Slides, Handouts, Problem Sets, Assignments, Lesson Plans, Learning Objects, Computer-Based Simulations (etc) that are openly available to educators to use and modify. More specifically, something qualifies as an Open Educational Resource if it can be:

  • Reused  (Used Verbatim)
  • Retained    The right to make, own, and control copies of the content  (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  • Redistributed  (Shared - such as when you share it with students in a Course Pack)
  • Revised   - Have Derivative works made out of it including:
    • Translation to new Language
    •  Changing to suit local needs (e.g. Change to accomodate a different grade level)
    •  Changing formats (e.g. Narrate and burn to disk)
  • Remixed  (Combined with other content to make a new resource)
    •  E.g. Making a new textbook or anthology out of chunks / chapters from existing works

These are known as the 5Rs of Open Educational Resources.  

One can identify something as an Open Educational Resource by reading any associated Creative Commons License and learning what rights you have in relation to the learning object.

Why are Open Educational Resources Important?


Open Educational Resources are becoming important educational tools as they:

  • Enable educators to provide students with affordable textbooks
     
  • Provide educators with access to useful learning objects that can be integrated into the curriculum
     
  • Provide affordable educational materials to lifelong learners and people in the Third World
     
  • Being able to view other instructors courses provides educators with useful approaches to teaching in their discipline
     
  • Sharing educational content under open licensing conditions is one way of avoiding major costs (Access Copyright costs) and  headaches (finding the Copyright holders) under existing Copyright Laws.
     
  • Shared development of educational content is a sustainable way of enhancing education as useful learning objects - such as Computer Games - can be collaboratively developed and maintained (i.e. Kept Current in a Sustainable fashion).
     
  • Loose collaborations of Faculty (and sometimes non-faculty with in depth knowledge of a subject area) can create resources that are better, stronger and more current.

Open Textbooks


The start of each term involves one consistent question from students: Does the library own a book that my professor wants me to buy?Textbooks are costly and are even driving enrollment decisions.  That is why Richard Barniak, one of the founders of the OER movement has created - with foundation support - the OpenStax College.  It is putting out a number of textbooks as OERs. All student's can access them for free or pay the cost of printing to have them for a small fraction of the cost. 

For more information check out our Open Textbooks Guide
 

 

Mason OER Metafinder

Mason OER Metafinder 


The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) helps you find Open Educational Resources.  Unlike other OER discovery sites with MOM you aren’t searching a static database.  Instead, the OER Metafinder launches a real-time, simultaneous search across 21 different OER repositories like OpenStaxOER CommonsMERLOT , HathiTrustDPLAInternet Archive and NYPL Digital Collections - where valuable but often overlooked yet often “open” educational materials may be found.  Given the many “standards” of metadata in the OER universe, it can’t guarantee that every item retrieved is “Open” in the strictest interpretation of that term, so make it a practice to check the rights of any item you use.  

To learn how to search Metafinder, check out the screenshots below.


 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 


 

 

 

Tools for Finding Open Educational Resources across Institutions or Projects


Open Education Database
Database that allows you to explore Open Education Courses by Degree, Catagory and Subject.  Includes several MOOC courses as well as true Open Educational Resources classes.  Enroll, investigate, learn how instructors are structuring online courses in different disciplines, or even learn about tools used to assist with online classess such as cognitive tutors.

Jorum
Site where you can locate OERs created by members of the UK Higher Education community.

OER Commons
Global site offeing not only content but also support for OER creation, opportunities to develop and join groups, content challenges and accounts for contributors.

Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN)
Like OER Commons assembles content, provides design guideance and encourages groups of interested parties to form and work together.

 

Knowing Your Rights with Creative Commons Licenses
 

In order to understand your rights under a Creative Commons License it is useful to know a bit about them.

CC licenses were designed to allow Creators to share their work under certain conditions and these licenses override default restrictions in copyright law.

All CC Licenses allow for Reuse and Redistribution of a work – after that there are  alternative licenses based upon the following:

  • Attribution: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give you credit.
     
  •  Noncommercial: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.
     
  •  No Derivative works: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
     
  •  Share Alike: You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work. http://creativecommons.ca/index.php?p=explained/

OERS Typically use one of three types of CC licenses

  • Attribution License – Have the ability to do all the 4Rs PROVIDED that you give attribution to original author.
     
  • Attribution Share-Alike License - Same as above AND all Derivative works must be shared under the same conditions that the original author shared with you.
     
  • Attribution Share-Alike Non-Commercial License - Same as previous HOWEVER you are forbidden to use your derivative work to make money.
Note that Open Educational Resources never make use of the Creative Commons No Derivatives Licenses - as  that would prevent others from modifying the content (one of the things that makes a learning object an OER.)
 
Also note that “While 'open'…may mean 'without cost', it does not on the other hand, means 'without conditions' as you will need to give Attribution, Share your Derivative work, etc. http://ijklo.org/Volume3/IJKLOv3p029-044Downes.pdf
 
 

Help The OER Movement
 

Learn More about OERs
 

UNESCO OER Toolkit/Background to Open Educational Resources  
Site has information about the History of Open Educational Resources, Licensing Issues, Where to find OERs, How to Create and Share OERs, etc.  
 
 Series of Videos by leaders speaking at an ACRL / SPARC Forum in 2009.
 

OER Research Hub
"Provides a focus for research, designed to give answers to the overall question ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’"

OER Commons
Global site offeing not only content but also support for OER creation, opportunities to develop and join groups, content challenges and accounts for contributors.

Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN)
Like OER Commons assembles content, provides design guideance and encourages groups of interested parties to form and work together.

Keep up to date with OERs via Twitter hashtags such as #oer, #opened, #ukoer