Integrating OER Into Your Course

The debate around quality has plagued OER from the very beginning. However, over the last decade there has been a tremendous amount of collaboration between individuals, as well as public and private educational institutions to establish quality criteria to guide the development of OER. This has resulted in several repositories that have been gaining notoriety as they host quality learning objects and resources, such as OER Commons, SOL*R, Merlot and OpenStax College among others.

As you search for OER to integrate into your course, it is recommended that you assess each resource you intend to use based on the context in which you need it as well as educational integrity. You may use your own criteria or a rubric such as the ones available at the Achieve site or the WikiEducator OER Handbook for Educators, which speaks to the various aspects to take into consideration when planning to integrate OER to enhance the curriculum. The following video guides you through the process of using the Achieve OER evaluation tool to assess OER objects:

Educators have come to recognise the potential of these repositories, as collaboration to re-use and remix objects continues to lead to increasingly equitable educational models.

Integrating OER into your courses has the potential to:

  • allow for higher quality materials that include multiple perspectives on a topic. OER are often the result of international collaboration between diverse content creators around the world.
  • engage learners in collaboration and sharing of knowledge
  • prevent faculty from "re-inventing" the wheel... and therefore lower the costs of producing a course
  • encourage faculty to share objects which will bring institutional recognition

How to Integrate OER?

Once you assess the OER you need and check for the licensing options, you need to decide whether you want to re-use, adapt and/or remix the object. Remember that an OER can be anything, from a single image to a complete course module. Depending on your needs and the resource you have identified, there are several ways you can integrate it into your own content:

  1. you can link to the resource
  2. you can embed the entire resource into your content page
  3. you can embed some elements of a specific OER in your content page (depending on the CC license under which the resource has been released)
  4. you can modify an existing OER (provided that the CC license allows for modifications) and embed the resulting work into your content page
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  1. Search the OER Repositories and identify at least one OER that can be integrated into the course content you are developing.
  2. Assess the OER using a rubric - either from Achieve or your own.
  3. Check the CC licensing scheme for the OER.
  4. Decide which way is best to integrate the resource into your content.
  5. Integrate the specific OER in the content you are developing.

This brings you to the end of Module 4. Well done! Next you will be working on Module 5: The Development Stage, which includes three separate books that guide you through developing your course using Moodle. Don't forget to post any question you may have to the Course Q&A discussion.