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Open Educational Resources

Recommended Articles

The concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) was originally coined during a UNESCO Forum on Open Courseware held in 2002.

"Access to Knowledge as a Foundation for an Open World" -- Article by Carolina Rossini, Educause Review, v.45, no. 4, July/August 2010.

Beyond OER: Shifting Focus to Open Educational Practice --  191-page report by OPAL (Open Educational Quality Initiative), 2011.

College Textbooks: Enhanced Offerings Appear to Drive Recent Price Increases -- 51-page U.S. Government Accountability Office report, July 29, 2005.

Connexions -- "A place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc."  Content can be read online or ordered as print.

“A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks Are the Path to Textbook Affordability” – 22-page article by Nicole Allen, September 2010.

Creative Commons --  Organization providing licensing for open source materials.

eTextbooks in Higher Education: Practical Findings to Guide the Industry --  Panel discussion, 2/15/2011.

Free Content + Open Tools + Mass Collaboration = Learning for All --  PowerPoint presentation. 

Free to Learn: an Open Educational Resources Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials -- 40-page booklet by Hal Plotkin, 2010.

Giving Knowledge for Free: the Emergence of Open Educational Resources -- 153-page book by the Center for Educational Research and Innovation, 2007.

"How to Collaboratively Develop Open Source Textbooks (in Hindsight!)" -- 15-page report by Mark Horner and Sarah Blyth, April 2008, for Free High School Science Texts (web site).

Introduction to Open Educational Resources Tutorial --  Written by Dr. Judy Baker, Foothill College, 2008, 74 p.; another version, 2009, 54 p.

"It Takes a Consortium to Support Open Textbooks" --  Article by Judy Baker, Educause Review, v.44, no.1, January/February 2009. 

Learning 4 Content --  Provides training for educators in how to develop and create open content.

"Models for Sustainable Open Education Resources" -- 16-page article by Stephen Downes, Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, v.3, 2007.

OER Commons --  Find reviews of open source textbooks and collaborate on open educational resources.

OER Dossier: Open Educational Resources and Higher Education -- 28-page report by Neil Butcher from OER Africa, South Africa.

OER Recommender --  Free widget that allows you “to easily insert ‘related resources’ links into your website.”

OER Research --  Collection of full-text research articles on various aspects of Open Education Resources.

Open Courseware Consortium -- “A collaboration of higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.”

Open Education...and Libraries --  PowerPoint presentation by Ellyssa Kroski.

Open Education Resources Educator Handbook --  Full text handbook from Wikieducator with instructions on how to find,  use, and create open education resources.

The Open Revolution: an Environmental Scan of the Open Textbook Landscape -- 39-page report by Jordan Firth, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Center, August 10, 2009.

Open Textbook Adoption Worksheet --  Developed by Dr. Judy Baker, Director of the Community College Consortium of Open Educational Resources, 2008.   Similar guidelines by Dr. Baker, 2009.

Opening Up Education: the Collective Advancement of Education Through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge --  Edited by Toru Iiyoshi and M.S. Vijay Kumar, MIT Press, 2008.  PDF full text of individual chapters or the entire book.

"The Pre-College Life of Readers" -- Article by Josh Hadro from Library Journal, Oct. 28, 2010.  The article focuses on the difference between reading print and reading online, and how many students can’t understand or evaluate online information.

A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities -- 84-page report by Daniel E. Atkins, John Seely Brown, and Allen L. Hammond, February 2007.

Richard Baraniuk on Open-Source Learning --  Video talk (18:37 min.)

"7 Things You Should Know About Open Education Resources" -- Article from the EduCause Learning Initiative, June 2010.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition) --  “An international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries…”

"State of Washington to Offer Online Materials as Textbooks" -- Article by Martha Ann Overland, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 2011.

"Students and Faculty Not Ready for Etextbooks, Says Panel" --  Article by Josh Hadro from Library Journal, Feburary 17, 2011.

"A Sustainable Future for Open Textbooks? the Flat World Knowledge Story" --  Article by John Levi Hilton III and David A. Wiley, First Monday, v.15, no.8, August 2, 2010.

Temoa --  An Open Education Resources portal or search engine.

"To Share or Not to Share: That is the Question"  -- Article by Maria H. Andersen, Educause Review, v. 45, no. 4, July/Aug. 2010.

"Toward Universal Access to All Knowledge" -- Podcast (51:58 min.) by Brewster Kahle, director and co-founder of Internet Archive.

"Why Remix an Open Educational Resource?" -- Article by Liam Green-Hughes, OLNet, February 10, 2009.

Wikieducator -- " evolving community intending for the collaborative planning projects linked with the development of free content."

Things to Note

  • Early on, think about how you plan to use and disseminate your work.
  • Seek out Library-licensed content, or open educational resources, to avoid issues with copyright restrictions.
  • Conduct a careful analysis of all works you plan to reuse, even for all "open," "free," "creative commons," and "public domain" content.
  • Document the origin and location for all content you reuse.
  • Get permission to reuse content that was created by others in any case that requires such permission.
  • Properly credit all authors whose work you reuse.
  • Keep a record of all signed and emailed documents relating to the works you reuse.
  • Comply with any publisher restrictions on use.

Help for Educators

Open Education Resources Educator Handbook --  Full text handbook from Wikieducator with instructions on how to find,  use, and create open education resources.

Lumen  -- Lumen Learning supports faculty as they identify and select high quality OER, align these to learning outcomes, and assemble them to make high quality OER-based courses. We then provide free access to these openly licensed courses to the education community.

California Learning Resource Network -- CLRN provides educators with a "one-stop" resource for critical information needed for the selection of supplemental electronic learning resources.

EDvantage -- EDvantage is the curriculum hub for pioneering educators, where you can find and share videos, articles, and so much more to complement the innovative classroom experience.

Recommended Books

Castro, Elizabeth.  EPUB: Straight to the Point.  

Gruman, Galen.  iBooks Author for Dummies

Luke, Ali.  Publishing E-Books for Dummies.  

Miller, Debra A., ed.  E-Books: Current Controversies.