Faculty OER Toolkit

Faculty OER Toolkit

Shannon Moist

Simon Fraser University Library, Simon Fraser University Teaching & Learning Centre

BCcampus

Contents

1

Introduction

Introduction

The Faculty OER Toolkit is intended as an introductory guide for faculty interested in incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER) into their teaching practice. Beginning with a definition of OER, reasons to use OER, and online collections of OER to use, the Toolkit also covers basic information about adapting, adopting, and evaluating OER. Additionally, there is information about licensing and copyright, including an explanation of Creative Commons licenses and attribution statements. Throughout the Toolkit, links are provided to more in-depth resources on topics including adopting open textbooks, adapting open textbooks, and ensuring OER are truly accessible for all users.

Acknowledgments

Thank you to Lauri Aesoph at BCcampus for authoring the B.C. Open Textbook Adaptation Guide and the B.C. Open Textbook Adoption Guide, both of which have been invaluable tools while compiling this resource.

 

I

What is OER?

1

OER definition

Definition

The term OER (Open Educational Resources) was first defined by UNESCO in 2002 as “any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license” and can “range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.”

Creative Commons created the table below to compare different definitions of OER from various sources.

Although many people think of OER and Open Education as generally referring to online-only material and courses, this is not the case. Many open textbooks, for example, are also available in hard copy, or can be printed if a user prefers.

The 5 Rs of Openness

As seen in the table above, OER differ from traditional educational resources in their licensing and permissions. Namely, the “open” aspect of OER can be defined by David Wiley’s 5R Framework.

Retain
the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
Reuse
the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise
the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix
the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute
the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

*This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221

OER Myth busting

Think OER are too difficult to find or complicated to use? Worried that they will take too much time and effort to implement? Concerned about copyright and intellectual property protection? The OER Policy for Europe has addressed many of these concerns on their OER Myth busting! site.

 

Attributions

The OER table at the top of this page has been copied from Creative Commons and is used under a CC BY 4.0 license.

The 5R Framework on this page was retrieved from SFU’s Open Educational Resources research guide and is used under a CC BY 4.0 license.

 

 

 

2

Why use OER?

Benefits of using OER

As can be seen in the BCOEL (formerly BCOER) infographic below, there are many reasons to use OER, including increasing student retention and providing more relevant materials for your classes.

Why Open Education matters

The following video explains why the move to Open Education (and the use of OER) is so important.

Why Open Education Matters from Blink Tower on Vimeo.

Faculty Perspectives on Open Textbooks

In the following two videos, you will hear from faculty who are using open textbooks and some of the reasons why.

Why use open textbooks? Benefits for students from BCcampus on Vimeo.

 

What instructors say about open textbooks from BCcampus on Vimeo.

Attributions

The Faculty Perspectives on Open Textbooks section above from the BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus and is used under a CC BY 4.0 international license. Download this book for free at http://open.bccampus.ca.

 

3

Types of OER (and where to find them)

There are a multitude of OER out there to choose from, including textbooks, courses, multimedia, data, and supplementary materials. These can be found by searching regular search engines (like Google) by using certain keywords but it is much easier to find them through dedicated OER repositories or websites. The examples below are just a sampling of such repositories and websites.

Repositories

SOL*R (Shareable Online Learning Resources)  –  This is BCcampus’ OER respository.

Creative Commons Search  –  A repository of various types of media, including images, music, and videos.

OER Commons  –  A large collection of a variety of types of OER, including textbooks, courses, and ancillary materials.

MERLOT  –  “a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.”

OER Handbook for Educators  –  “a guide for those who are just getting started in the creation of open educational resources (OER).”

Textbooks

BCcampus’s BC OpenEd Resources page is a good place to start to find both general information about OER and a list of textbooks that have been “created…or…re-created from existing [OER] by BC post-secondary faculty, reviewed by B.C. faculty and made available under a Creative Commons license.”

OpenStax  –  Supported by Rice University, OpenStax has a huge collection of open, peer-reviewed textbooks on a large variety of subjects.

Project Gutenberg  –  A collection of tens of thousands of digitized books available for download; audiobooks are also available.

AU Press  –  Athabasca University’s AU Press publishes open access journals and books with a focus on Canada, the North American West, and the Circumpolar North.

Courses

Khan Academy  –  A collection of instructional videos and practice exercises on topics including math, science, programming, history, English, economics, and standardized test prep.

MIT OpenCourseWare  –  offers free access to almost all MIT course content

Saylor Academy  –  a non-profit organization committed to providing free and open online courses

Coursera  –  an educational platform partnered with dozens of prestigious universities and institutions (including MoMA, Stanford, Yale, the University of Toronto, and the University of London)

Multimedia

Creative Commons Search  –  A repository of various types of media, including images, music, and videos

Vimeo  –  Videos with a CC license can be found through Advanced Search options

Flickr: Creative Commons – Flickr is an “online photo management and sharing application” and many photos are available under CC licenses; Flickr allows searching by type of license.

Supplemental materials

Supplemental, or ancillary, OER materials can include lecture notes, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, assignments, and activities.

PhET  –  Interactive math and science simulations with lesson plans and activities

OER Commons  –  A large collection of a variety of types of OER, including textbooks, courses, and ancillary materials

Other OER lists

Many universities have research guides related to finding OER and that provide lists of various repositories and resources, so be sure to check your home institution.

Simon Fraser University

University of British Columbia

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

British Columbia Institute of Technology

University of Victoria

University of Northern British Columbia

II

Adopt/Adapt vs Creation

4

Adopt/Adapt vs Creation

Why adaptation or adoption?

Many educators feel driven to create the “perfect” resources for their classes and it can be difficult put aside that perfection and use other people’s creations. However, the number, variety, and quality of OER available freely is such that any educator should be able to find resources they can readily (with or without adaptations) put to use within their classrooms. And adaptation or adoption of OER will almost always be more efficient than creating teaching materials from scratch.

Jan M. Pawlowski addressed one of the reasons behind this reluctance in his article, Emotional Ownership as the Key to OER Adoption.

More resources

For more complete information about and instructions on how to adapt an open textbook, please visit the BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus.

For more complete information about and instruction on how to adopt an open textbook, please visit the BC Open Textbook Adoption Guide by BCcampus.

For a list of open textbooks that have been evaluated and are available for adoption and adaptation, please visit BCcampus’ OpenEd.

 

 

 

5

Adaptation

For more complete information about and instructions on how to adapt an open textbook, please visit the BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus.

Adaptation

The term “adaptation” is commonly used to describe the process of making changes to an existing work. Though we can also replace “adapt” with revise, modify, alter, customize, or other synonym that describes the act of making a change. The example below refers to adapting an open textbook but any OER (assignments, videos, lecture notes, diagrams, etc) can be adapted.

In addition to cost savings to students, one of the biggest advantages of choosing an open textbook is it gives faculty the legal right to add to, adapt, or delete the content of the textbook to fit their specific course without obtaining permission from the copyright holder. This is possible because the copyright holder has already granted permission by releasing their work using an open — or Creative Commons — license. This type of license gives users permission to use and reuse, share, copy, retain and modify the textbook without consulting the author.

Below are some examples of how an open textbook can be adapted by adding in your own Learning Objectives, Exercises, and Key Takeaways.

Learning Objectives

Type your learning objectives here.

  • First
  • Second

Exercises

Type your exercises here.

  1. First
  2. Second

Key Takeaways

Type your key takeaways here.

  • First
  • Second

 

Reasons to adapt an open textbook

One of the benefits of using an openly licensed textbook or other educational resource is that you are free to adapt it to fit your needs. In other words, you can adjust the educational resources to fit your course curriculum, not the other way around.

Below are 10 more reasons adapting an open textbook might be for you:

  1. Address a particular teaching style or learning style
  2. Adjust for a different grade or course level
  3. Address diversity needs
  4. Meet a cultural, regional, or national preference
  5. Make the material more accessible for people with disabilities
  6. Add material contributed by students or material suggested by students
  7. Translate the material into another language
  8. Correct errors or inaccuracies
  9. Update the book with current information
  10. Add more media or links to other resources

Attributions

This chapter contains material from the B.C. Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus is used under a CC BY 4.0 International license. Download this book from free from http://open.bccampus.ca.
The “Reasons” above are adapted from fromWikiEducator. “Adapt” in OER Handbook for Educators (http://wikieducator.org/OER_Handbook/educator_version_one/Adapt) and Why Remix Open Educational Resources? created by Liam Green-Hughes, both used under a CC BY license.

6

Adoption

The information in this chapter refers to adopting an open textbook but any OER (assignments, videos, lecture notes, diagrams, et cetera) can be adopted for classroom use (using many of the steps below).

For more complete information about and instruction on how to adopt an open textbook, please visit the BC Open Textbook Adoption Guide by BCcampus.

Adopt an open textbook

If you are an instructor looking for an open textbook to assign to your class, here are some suggested ways to go about using a textbook from the BCcampus Open Textbook collection.

First, we often get questions from people outside of British Columbia about whether or not they can use textbooks in our collection. The answer is yes. You don’t have to be from British Columbia to use our open textbooks. Open textbooks are not geographically limited. Anyone from Canada, the United States, or any other country in the world can use these resources.

Using an open textbook for your class

  1. Find the right textbook. Search the B.C. Open Textbook collection (http://open.bccampus.ca)
  2. Review and evaluate to see if it matches your criteria and based on content, presentation, online accessibility, production options, platform compatibility, delivery options, interactivity, consistency between online and printed versions, and available ancillary material (test banks, PowerPoints, etc.) Suggested source for evaluating an OER: http://open.bccampus.ca/files/2014/07/Faculty-Guide-22-Apr-15.pdf
  3. Decide if you want to use as is or modify it. One of the benefits of open textbooks is flexibility to modify and customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire. If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the Creative Commons license allows for that (every CC license except the non-derivative license allows for modifications). If you are interested in modifying an open textbook, check out our section on how to modify an open textbook (http://open.bccampus.ca/open-textbook-101/adapting-an-open-textbook/)
  4. Distribute to your students. There are a number of ways in which you can do this.
    • If you’re using a textbook from this site, provide the link to the textbook to your students. They will have the option to select which file type they would like to download, or they can purchase a low cost printed version from the BCcampus print on demand service.
    • Alternatively, you can download copies of the book and put them on another site. Some examples of where you could put your own copies of the book files are:
      • Your institutional LMS (Learning Management System). Load the book files into your Moodle, Desire2Learn, Blackboard or Canvas site and make the books available to your students via the LMS.
      • Use an online file sharing service like Dropbox or Google Docs. Upload a copy of the book files to Dropbox or Google Docs and send your student the link to that copy.
      • If you have a faculty website, put copies of the files on that website and send students to your website to download your copy of the textbook.
    • Approach your local institutional bookstore or print shop to see if they can make printed copies of the books available for your students. Many institutional print shops can create low cost printed versions of textbooks and make them available to students. Keep in mind that textbooks that have a specific non-commercial clause (CC-BY-NC) cannot be sold with a markup or at a profit. However, charging a modest cost-recovery fee for physical textbooks is considered reasonable.
  5. Let us know. If you adopt an open textbook from this site, tell us about it. (https://open.bccampus.ca/adoption-of-an-open-textbook/) Faculty adoption information is important to the long term viability of the open textbook project. Plus we will add you to a mailing list to inform you of when the textbook is being modified or additional resources are available for it.

 

Attribution

This chapter contains material from the B.C. Open Textbook Adoption Guide by BCcampus is used under a CC BY 4.0 International license. Download this book from free from http://open.bccampus.ca.

 

 

 

7

Evaluating OER

Evaluating OER

The BCOEL Librarians have developed a useful guide to assist faculty with the open textbook and OER evaluation process. This Faculty Guide for Evaluating Open Education Resources has been released under a CC BY 4.0 International license.

0001

For more complete information about and instructions on how to adapt an open textbook, please visit the BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus.

For more complete information about and instruction on how to adopt an open textbook, please visit the BC Open Textbook Adoption Guide by BCcampus.

For a list of open textbooks that have been evaluated and are available for adoption and adaptation, please visit BCcampus’ OpenEd. This list of textbooks has been reviewed by BC post-secondary faculty.

III

Licensing and Copyright

9

Creative Commons Licensing

Choose a license

If you are adapting an existing open textbook, the adaptations you make will be released with whatever open license you choose, while the rest of the book will be released under the license of the original book. In other words, you need to respect the license of the original work. You cannot license what you do not create. You can only attach a CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution), or other open license to the parts of the book that you have created and are new.

However, there is a “catch.” If the textbook you are adapting has a Share-Alike condition (CC BY-SA 4.0) stipulated, then you must release the entire book using the same license as the original book.

Below are the symbols and definitions of each of the Creative Commons licenses. If you are unsure which CC license you would like to use, you can use the Creative Commons Choose a License tool.

creative-commons-783531_1280

Attribution: CC BY

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Attribution-ShareAlike: CC BY-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NoDerivs: CC BY-ND

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-NonCommercial: CC BY-NC 

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: CC BY-NC-ND

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Attributions

The Creative Commons license definitions and images listed on this page have been copied from Creative Commons and are used under a CC BY 4.0 license.

10

Combining CC Licenses

Combining CC licenses

When adapting an open textbook (or other OER), you may want to incorporate other people’s works into your adaptation. In order to do that, you must ensure that any existing licenses on the work you’re adapting or including are compatible with each other.

For example, as explained in Chapter 9, the CC BY license is the least restrictive and is compatible with all of the other CC licenses. However, if you want to include a work that has a CC BY-SA license, you must use that same license with your adaptation (which may conflict with other licenses already attached to the work). Creative Commons provides more information about CC BY-SA license compatibility on this page.

      

The Orange Grove repository’s video below further explains how CC licenses can be combined.

For further help, you can use the use the Creative Commons Choose a License tool or the Wiki/cc license compatibility chart, or contact your institution’s Library or Teaching & Learning Centre.

Attribution

The Creative Commons license definitions and images listed on this page have been copied from Creative Commons and are used under a CC BY 4.0 license.

11

Creative Commons Alternatives

Alternative licenses

While Creative Commons licensing is a well-recognized, straight-forward, flexible type of licensing that is strongly associated with OER, there are other types of open licensing available.

 

GNU     

The GNU General Public License is a “free, copyleft license for software and other kinds of works.”

 

Copyleft

Copyleft is comparable to the Share Alike aspect of a Creative Commons license.

 

Public Domain

Works in the public domain are not copyrighted. Different countries have different copyright laws and lengths, however, which must be carefully checked.

Creative Commons has tools that allow users to place their works in the public domain.

 

Attributions

The GNU General Public License version 3 logo is in the Public Domain.
The Copyleft symbol by Zscout370 is in the Public Domain.
The Public Domain logo has been copied from Creative Commons and is used under a CC BY license.

12

Attribution Statements

Attributions

Regardless of the Creative Commons license you choose for your OER, all CC licenses require at least an attribution to the original creator of the work (the “BY” part of a CC license). Below are some examples of how to create attribution statements for text and media.

This attribution generator from Open Washington can also be a useful tool. Creative Commons also has advice about and examples of giving attribution.

Examples of attribution statements

All Creative Commons licenses contain an attribution (BY) clause. This means that you must include a statement that gives credit to, or attributes, the creator of the work from which you have borrowed, whether it’s text, an image, a video, or other item. If you have made a change, indicate that in your attribution statement.

As far as how and where to place attribution statements for text or media taken from another source or sources, best practices state that you should place them at the bottom of each affected web page. Clearly mark all of these with a heading called: “Attributions”. Several attribution statements can be listed under this heading. Here are examples.

Example of an attribution statement for adapted text

This chapter is an adaptation of Natural Disasters and Human Impacts (on Open Geography Education) by R. Adam Dastrup and Maura Hahnenberger, and is used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International license.

Note:

Example of an attribution statement for an adapted image

Figure 1.2
Dog by David Locke is used under a CC BY 2.0 license. Modifications to this photo include cropping.

Note:

Attributions

This chapter contains material from the BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus and is used under a CC BY 4.0 international license. Download this book for free at http://open.bccampus.ca.

13

Keeping Track of Changes

Provenance

When adapting or adopting OER, it is imperative to track the provenance of the resources as they are modified and remixed.

Keep a record of all changes and additions

As the author, you retain copyright of all new material you create. This means that even if the new material you create is released under an open license, as the author, you will receive attribution for your contribution.

As you edit and make changes (text and images) and/or add new material, such as a chapter or section within a chapter, keep a list so these additions/changes:

Minor changes, such as fixing grammatical or spelling mistakes, don’t need to be documented.

If you add material from another openly licensed work to your adaptation, especially text, record the source and where it is used in your adapted version. This information is needed for the wording and placement of each attribution statement required for each open CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution) licensed work you use. For more information, see Attribution Statements.

Provenance document examples

Below are examples of provenance documents that could be used to track changes and attributions when adapting OER. The term “Collegial collections” can refer to resources adopted/adapted from a colleague or inter-departmentally – these resources are often openly shared within a faculty team (or department) but are not openly shared in an OER repository.

File type OER “Collegial collections”
PDF OER provenance document  Collegial Collections provenance document
Word OER provenance document  Collegial Collections provenance document

 

Attribution

This chapter contains material from the B.C. Open Textbook Adaptation Guide by BCcampus is used under a CC BY 4.0 International license. Download this book from free from http://open.bccampus.ca.
“OER provenance document” by BCcampus is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
“Collegial Collections provenance document” by BCcampus is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

1

Appendix 1 - Accessibility and Usability

The BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit is a valuable resource for those who want to ensure that their OER are truly accessible for all students.

 

Attributions

B.C. Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit by Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, and Tara Robertson used under a CC-BY 4.0 international license. Download this book for free at http://open.bccampus.ca