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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide--a work in progress--provides information for learning about open educational resources (OER) and curates a collection of OER repositories for use by Western faculty and staff.

Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER)

Get started by following the steps outlined in this guide:

  1. Identify what you are seeking
    1. ​​​​Find and re-familiarize yourself with your course competencies. These will provide important keywords for your searching and will aid you in evaluating the relevance of any open content you find.
    2. Identify why you want to move to an open option. Is it to save your students money? to have the ability to remix the content? to create something that doesn't yet exist? to facilitate new and innovative teaching practices?
  2. Scan the landscape for your content area and locate the OER that already exist.
    1. Scan the list of OER in use in the WTCS to see if other instructors or colleges are already using OER.
    2. Search the "big" OER repositories next. The Finding OER page of this guide can help you get started.
    3. Look at other subject specific resources or professional organizations in your field to see what might be recommended or useful. 
    4. Don't be afraid to call in reinforcements here! Your Librarians would be happy to help you search or provide suggestions on the best places to look. 
  3. Evaluate each option.
    1. ​Price is an important element, but it's not the only thing to consider when evaluating possibilities. Quality, accessibility, and flexibility also matter. The Open Education Resources Evaluation Rubrics created by ACHIEVE.org can be useful for assessing the quality and relevance of Open Education Resources (OER)
    2. Remember, you're not alone! Your Academic Excellence and Development team is a great resource for this stage of the process. 
  4. Select the open option that would best meet the needs of your students. (If needed, you can adapt it!)
  5. Get necessary approvals, integrate the text into your course, and then share the open resource(s) with your students.

Steps are quoted from the Open Textbook Adoption Worksheet, developed by Dr. Judy Baker, former director of the the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Additional resources and examples can be found at http://cnx.org/content/m15767/latest/


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