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How-to guide: Creating OER

You may choose to create or modify your own Open Educational Resources if you do not find resources available that suit your needs.

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.

How will you make your OER accessible to all students? We recommend the Open Education Consortium's guide to addressing accessibility issues.

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.

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 MERLOT, OER Commons, or the Open Textbook Library.

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.

Resources for Building, Hosting, and Sharing OER sites to upload and share your materials 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 by changing the sharing settings to “Public on the Web.”

Slideshare For slides

YouTube For videos

Internet Archive Upload and store any digital materials

WordPress Free blogs that can be used for educational purposes

Sites to create and share materials directly in an educational repository

Open Author from OER Commons Build and publish OER with a simple WYSIWYG editor

Merlot Content Builder Build scaleable educational websites


Build and share OER in a familiar format

Attribution Sections of this page have been modified from the COERLL Module on Open Educational Resources, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 Attribution License. CC BY logo