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OER Toolkit

Creating OERs

Why Create OER?
  • Assures academic freedom to add content to your specifications
  • Extends your academic profile
  • Provides more relevant and engaging materials for students
  • Reduces costs for students


Text a derivative of BCOER Poster by BCcampus licensed under CC BY 4.0.


Examples of OER Creation
Creating OER and Combining Licenses Part 1.
  • In this animated video, Michelle develops a chapter on metabolism for an open textbook. She uses her teaching notes for the text of the chapter, and finds openly licensed images and exercises to accompany the text. She also determines which Creative Commons license to assign to her finished chapter before sharing it.

Creating OER and Combining Licenses Part 1 video transcript.

Putting Public Back in Public Higher Education

Watch Robin DeRosa describe how her students at Plymouth State helped create their own course materials from the public domain while dramatically reducing their costs.


Putting Public Back in Public Higher Education video transcript

Note: For more information on choosing an open licence for material you create, see the Licensing Module in this toolkit, or contact your library for help.

OER Authoring Guides
Accessibility Checklist

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires that institutions provide all resources in an accessible format “on demand”. There are no specific guidelines for what is accessible—other than it must meet the need of the student requesting the accessible format. However, as educators, we a have ethical obligations to ensure that courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities.

Unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, instructional resources can erect barriers that make learning difficult or impossible. Use the materials below to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners.

You can download the checklist in the following formats:

Accessibility Toolkit

OER Design Tips

Consider this list of design tips to create sharable, reusable OER - and get help from the library along the way

  • Start with what’s there Look to existing collections with quality resources such as eCampus Ontario’s Open Textbook Library. Also consider materials that you've created, which may be available offline.
  • Make it accessible  It's important to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners. Note that it is more work to make existing OER accessible than it is to create an accessible OER from the start. Use the accessibility checklist to guide your work.
  • Make it adaptable  The more modular your content is, the easier it is for future users to reuse it. If you’re working on an open textbook, separate your content by chapter and subchapter. If possible, provide a version of your resource in an editable format, such as .docx or Google Docs.
  • Make it open Select and clearly display the Creative Commons licence for your resource. If you integrate other materials into your resource, select those that are open. See the Licensing Module in this toolkit for information on choosing an open licence, or contact your library for help.
  • Make it discoverable Work with library staff to determine the best platform for sharing the resource with others. Library staff can also advise you on adding appropriate descriptors that make your OER discoverable.
  • Invite critique Evaluate your resource using a rigorous rubric such as the Comprehensive OER Evaluation Rubric. Ask peers to review the resource using the evaluation rubric. OER development is an iterative process, so try to revisit your OER on a regular update cycle.

Additional Information:

Authoring and Hosting Tools

Some OER authoring tools are free, and others require payment. Also, be aware that some tools require users to actively change their sharing settings to make resources public, or they may only allow sharing with other registered users and not the wider public.

Free Tools
Paid Tools
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