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OER Authoring and Publishing: Resources

Introduction

Technically, authoring a new OER is like creating any other educational resource, except that you are publishing digitally and using an open license. There are, however, some good practices to keep in mind.

 

Get it reviewed This should include both peer review to verify content and copy-editing for typos and other writing errors.
Make it editable If you want others to be able to adapt and use your OER, be sure to make it available in a format like Word or Google Docs that is easier to edit. Pdfs can be very difficult to modify.
Make it accessible Take the extra steps to be sure that your OER is accessible to people with disabilities.
Make it discoverable There are many OER repositories and publishing platforms. Publishing in one of these will increase the likelihood of your OER being found and used.
Make it open

License your work using a Creative Commons license so that your OER can be adapted and shared.

Authoring & Publishing Tools and Platforms

Low Budget, Low Tech Options

OER Authoring and Publishing Platforms 

  • OER Commons
    • created by ISKME, a global nonprofit for education, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 
    • free, open platform with a wide range of material types
    • create content using its Open Author editor "Create a Resource with Open Author"
    • includes accessibility compliance features
    • drag and drop to import multimedia
    • includes LTI integration with LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, etc)
    • Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business
  • MERLOT
    • authoring and publishing platform; content submitted by members of MERLOT community, membership is free
    • project began in 1997 by California State University; now is an online repository and international consortium of institutions (and systems) of higher education, industry partners, professional organizations and individuals
    • "the MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools" - large repository that includes 22 material types: MERLOT Collection
    • includes peer reviews and content communities
    • includes Content Builder a free website development tool; good for linear or nonlinear formats
    • accessibility features included in Content Builder
    • includes LTI integration with LMS - fee-based service
    • DNA From the Beginning
  • LibreTexts
    • free, nonprofit educational resource project started in 2008 by Professor Delmar Larsen, University of California Davis
    • "LibreTexts is a community effort which emphasizes creation of custom OER. LibreTexts is not simply a repository but a collection of supporting software including online homework, collaborative project management tools, automatic accessibility checks and much more."
    • built on MindTouch platform; can embed media and incorporate software code
    • includes Hypothesis, an application for incorporating annotation
    • includes LTI integration with LMS systems like Blackboard or Canvas, deeper integration coming soon with Tsugi
    • includes OER Remixer for adapting content
    • WebWork homework problems platform in development
    • accessibility - OER compliance features coming soon
    • large repository
    • Chem 1
  • Manifold
    • Scalable, open-source web publishing platform that is a collaboration between CUNY, University of Minnesota Press, and Cast Iron Coding
    • Flexible options for different types of formats and materials
    • options for collaboration
    • includes software to install, hosting options
    • includes accessibility features
    • not one large repository; separate collections
    • Cut Copy Paste
  • Pressbooks
    • commercial application, subscription fees for institution or individual
    • includes a text editor that is based on WordPress
    • create a clean, linear, textbook format
    • additional subscription fee includes LTI integration with LMS like Blackboard or Canvas
    • open - easy to identify and incorporate Creative Commons licenses
    • accessibility features included
    • includes the ability to save in multiple formats
    • repository - Pressbooks Directory
    • OER Training
    • Moving Pictures

Additional Publishing Options

  • Scalar
    • free, open-source authoring and publishing platform
    • project of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC)
    • write text and assemble media, juxtaposing content in different ways
    • supports several coding languages
    • ability to annotate content
    • encourages collaboration - projects can have multiple authors
    • not a repository
    • A Case of Hysteria
    • Victorian Ghosts
  • Omeka
    • Free, flexible, open-source web publishing platform for sharing digital collections
    • designed for creating dynamic exhibits (e.g. museum) in multimedia formats
    • developed at George Mason University
    • hosting available; not a repository
    • accessibility features in development
    • Omeka Showcase
  • GitBook
    • documentation platform designed for collaboration and teams
    • supports several coding languages
    • not an OER repository
    • features for technical projects - Start exploring
    • Can be used to create texts SQL Basics
  • Bookdown
    • open-source application for writing books and long-form articles/reports
    • uses R Markdown mark-up language
    • multiple output formats 
    • options for including dynamic graphics and interactivity
    • supports several coding languages
    • not an OER repository
    • collection at bookdown.org
  • Jupyter Notebooks
    • free, open-source application for interactive development
    • modular design
    • supports several coding languages

 

Power of Teamwork

Power of Teamwork

Identify and use the resources available at your institution.

  • Faculty - identify faculty who you could collaborate with to create OER
  • Librarians - often will help you find OER and connect you to resources, both internal and external
  • Institutional resources related to authoring and publishing
    • Centers for Teaching and Learning
    • Educational Technology
    • Instructional Designers
    • Institutional publishing departments or university presses

Adding Interactivity

H5P plugin

With the H5P plugin, authors may create and edit interactive videos, activities, games and more. Content may be imported and exported. The H5P plugin is freely available. All that is needed to view or edit H5P content is a web browser.

Examples and Downloads

Check out the H5P author guide to get started.

H5P OER Hub 

Example: Drag and Drog

Example: Branching Scenario

 

Text Authoring Tools

Most often, content is created using a word processing application like Microsoft Word or Google Docs and then imported into an application or publishing platform. Some publishing platforms have text editors. These include:

  • Pressbooks - editor is based on WordPress
  • OER Commons - text editor is called Open Author, works similar to a blog
  • Scalar - includes a text editor
  • Wikibooks - edit using Wikitext mark-up language