According to UNESCO an Open Educational Resource is:
‘… any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open licence. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OER range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.’
Where can you find OERs?
There are a number of consolidators or search engines for OERs these including:
https://oasis.geneseo.edu/ (this website allows you to search textbooks, public domain books, interactive, modules, videos, learning objects, courses and course materials) If you are interested there is a lovely book about Open Pedagogy and how to develop open assessments
https://openstax.org/ (full textbooks but may only have a narrow focus introductory Maths and Science)
https://www.ck12.org/student/ (for intro level or background materials aligned to the California curriculum (common core standards) )
https://www.oercommons.org/ allows you to search by keyword, then filter by subject, education level (and for schools the standard or curriculum areas) the resources have been mapped to.
RMIT Library has a great resource where you can find all about using and finding OERs. Learn more here. Please note: If you adopt an open textbook for your course, please make sure you let the library know so they can list you as a textbook hero, learn more about being a textbook hero here.
Contact library support if you need assistance with finding/using OERs: firstname.lastname@example.org
For other resources
https://h5p.org/ hosts a range of interactives which are released under a creative commons licence for you to use, remix or be inspired by.
https://rpsychologist.com/viz/ ( a range of interactive visualisations around common statistical phenomena)
If you are looking for images, we curated some sites in the Looking for Images post. https://sites.rmit.edu.au/sister/2020/05/14/looking-for-images/
https://ed.ted.com/ Videos (5-30 mins) across a range of subjects and discipline areas which may be useful starting points for discussions. Often the videos integrate questions for students or viewers to Think about resources to help dig deeper on a topic and a platform to discuss. You can use the existing prompts, or you can customize the lesson for your students and include links to your materials, or focus on different aspects.
Open access journal articles through your preferred database
https://rmit.libguides.com/openeducationalresources a comprehensive introduction to OER, and links to other places to search for resources.
Why would you use an OER?
- To support your students and ensure they have high quality teaching and learning reference materials available to them when they are studying
- Because it allows you to contextualise the resources you are providing to students
- High quality material with no or low cost to you and your students
- To allow you to remain in control of your curriculum – not a publisher with other priorities.
- Because you want to invest time incorporating resources (OER) which won’t be lost in the future due to budget restrictions or changes to licenses
Producing your own OER?
On most platforms you can easily remix existing materials to create a resource suitable for your students – you may wish to change names, units of measure or scenarios to make the resources better for your students.
Or If you are really passionate you could create your own textbook If you are interested in producing your own OER, the RMIT framework will be released shortly to support this. However, until then explore OERcommons – and the open author platform as a starting point.