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The first step on any OER journey is learning about OER. It is helpful to understand open licenses and other background information before jumping into finding and implementing OER. Instructors in a development cycle will have access to the CTLD OER Hub on Canvas, which has useful information and links to prepare and assist instructors throughout the OER process. An instructional designer will also be there every step of the way, guiding instructors and making recommendations.
The next step along the path is doing some research into OER in a specific field. It is good to get a lay of the land and begin finding resources that could work for the course. This could mean finding a textbook to replace the current commercial text, a video to incorporate into a lesson, or activities to enhance student engagement with the material. It could even be a combination of various resources used for any purpose that suits the course’s needs and the instructor. During this step, instructors are expected to treat OER as any other resource they would consider using in their course, which means it will take some time to evaluate the found materials.
After finding an OER, the next step is determining how to implement the material into the course. Some of this decision will be led by the licensing provisions associated with the resource. The rest is up to the instructor who is developing the course. This instructor will consider how they want to use the resource and consider recommendations from an instructional designer. Some resources may need to be converted to new formats, modified for accessibility, or otherwise tailored to the instructor’s specific needs.
If no suitable OER is found, instructors also have the opportunity to create something new and share it with others as an OER. An instructional designer will be there to guide this process and provide the necessary resources.
To read more about OERs in general, please visit our main OER page.
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