Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER): Create your own OER

Creating and Modifying OER

You may choose to create or modify your own Open Educational Resources if you do not find resources available that suit your needs. For an excellent overview on creating and modifying OER, take a look at  Affordable Learning Georgia's guide to Customizing and Authoring Content and the Affordable Learning Georgia's tutorial for Creating and Modifying Open Educational Resources.

Creating OER

Creating an OER is similar to authoring any other document, except that you are assigning that content an open license which usually allows for its free use and re-purposing by others. 

Things to consider:

  • What license will you assign to your OER? Using a Creative Commons License will provide you with the legal framework to share your OER and provide permissions to others for the 5Rs. Use the Creative Commons License Builder to create a license for your work or contact Brooke Ramos for more information.
  • How will you make your OER accessible to all students? Check out the Open Education Consortium's guide to addressing accessibility issues, ASCCC-OERI's Accessibility Page which includes California Community College resources, and CCC's Accessibility Resources page
  • Where will you create and host your OER? There are sites available from which you can directly upload and share your materials, and there are educational repositories designed specifically to assist with the creation and hosting of OER. For more information on creating and hosting OER, visit the section titled "Sites for Creating and Hosting OER". 
  • How will you share your OER? Once you've created your OER, you may want to share it across many directories and repositories for maximum visibility. Consider submitting your work to MERLOTOER Commons, or the Open Textbook Library.

Modifying OER

Modifying an existing OER is a a simpler way of adopting content to suit your needs than creating a new OER. Before modifying an OER, check that the Creative Commons license does not contain a "no derivatives" clause. If it does, you do not have permission to modify the work. Search for formats that are conducive to modification, such as .docx and .rtf. Once you've downloaded and modified the OER, you can upload it to many of the sites listed in the "Sites for Creating and Hosting OER" section (See below). 

Getting Started with OER Publishing

It can be overwhelming to create and/or modify an OER for your classes. In addition to the wealth of information available from places like the ASCCC OERI and other OER content creators, there is an excellent OER text about publishing OER textbooks. The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) by Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wade Hyde is an evolving textbooks that takes you through considerations you may not have thought of such as determining your project scope, putting together a team to work on an OER, and maintaining the resource past the initial release date. 

Sites for Creating and Hosting OER

Sites to upload and share your materials:

  • Canvas! You can build out your OER in Canvas to share directly with your class. If your OER includes remixing from other OER texts, many platforms such as LibreTexts allow you to export into Canvas.
  • Google Drive for sharing documents (lesson plans, activities, instructional materials, etc.). Once you have uploaded your materials, get a public URL for a document or collection of documents by changing the sharing settings to "Public on the Web".
  • InTech Open is a multidisciplinary Open Access publisher of books and journals covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine. There are one-time fees associated with publishing.
  • Internet Archive can be used to upload and store any digital materials.
  • Pressbooks for designing and formatting your OER as a book. You can create print books and eBooks. There is a small fee associated with the service to remove ads from published products.
  • Slideshare for sharing presentation slides.
  • YouTube or TeacherTube for sharing videos. Be sure to select the Creative Commons license option when uploading your videos to YouTube.
  • WordPress and Tumblr offer free blogs that can be used to publish and share educational content.

Sites to create and share materials directly in an educational repository: