Creating and Publishing New OER
Creating and publishing new OERs will always enrich the OER community. In this chapter, then, we want to provide professors with insights on how to create new OERs and a guide to open licenses for publishing them.
Because OERs are always open, you can manage and customize their content every year, every term or even in the midpoint of a course to supply your and your students' needs. Also, OERs can extend your academic profile, as you are creating the textbooks for your own classes. At the same time, you can offer more engaging and relevant materials for students: OERs can be shared digitally with videos, hyperlinks, and updates on what is new in every field. In addition, you help the students to reduce the cost of their textbooks, replacing at-cost material with a high-quality, free and open resource.
Many instructors get started with creating new OERs by opening up their syllabus. Opening up your syllabus can encourage fresh reflections on teaching practice and opportunities to include new or different perspectives on a subject. Then, ask yourself: what topics does my class cover? What do my notes say about those topics? What resources do I usually use? Which can I share? Which can I replace? Gather the information. These are the foundations of a new OER.
You do not have to create new OERs alone. In fact, OERs are often built collaboratively, not only among peers but also with the students. Mark Horner and Sarah Blyth from the Free High School Science Texts demonstrate in this document how to create open textbooks in a collaborative manner. The document is called How to collaboratively develop open-source textbooks (in hindsight!).
For example, in 2008, professor Jon Beasley-Murray from the University of British Columbia used Wikipedia in his class about Latin American dictatorship to empower students to share knowledge on the topic. They created three new articles and improved eight, which are now in Wikipedia and free to access.
Considerations About Creating and Publishing New OERs
Make your OER accessible
From the beginning of your process, think about your students, as well as students and instructors outside your community. What are the best ways to make your materials accessible to as many students as possible? To do this, be mindful of the format you select for your OER. Not every person has the means to access all. You can find information about file formats in the Revising and Remixing OER section of this toolkit. Also, keep in mind that NYU has its own Digital Accessibility Checklist that you can check in order to build digital content and applications that can be used by people with disabilities. If you need more information about accessibility, you can check Deque's The Beginner's Guide to Web Accessibility or the University of British Columbia's OER Accessibility Toolkit.
Make it adaptable
For OERs to have maximum impact, consider creating and publishing your work in ways that can be edited by other people (instructors and students) around the world. For example, if you are working on an open textbook, separate your content by chapters and subchapters. In this way, it is easier to revise or remix single parts of a content without affecting the whole of the book. Also, sharing the editable version (.docx or Google Docs) of the document will solve many difficulties.
Publish it openly
NYU Libraries and NYU IT offer multiple web publishing platforms for those who are seeking to build new OERs or adapt existing ones for NYU courses.
For open textbooks, we recommend:
- Manifold is an open-source publishing platform that supports rich media and iterative texts. Powerful annotation tools built into the reading interface enable teaching and learning through conversation. Manifold is great for compiling course readers, publishing course books, and creating student publications.
But you can also check:
- Web Publishing
- A fast and easy way for faculty, staff, and students to create a WordPress website or blog in NYU’s custom environment.
- Web Hosting
- A hosting service with up to 2 GB of free server space and customizable one-click installations of Omeka, Scalar, WordPress, and more. (Service website includes a comparison of Web Publishing and Web Hosting services).
Publishing OERs alone is not enough to make them discoverable. You may find it useful to submit your OER to major OER discovery platforms, like OER Commons or MERLOT. In our previous chapter, Finding OER, you can find a list of other external OER platforms.
Also, feel free to contact us at email@example.com if you need any assistance making new OERs discoverable.
Look at our chapter on Evaluating OER and ask your peers to review the work. OERs are built by communities, so do not hesitate to ask for help. Remember to schedule regular update cycles to revisit your OER.
The text in "Considerations About Creating and Publishing New OERs" was adapted from the OER Toolkit, byColleges Libraries Ontario (CLO) and the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), licensed under CC by 4.0
In order for your OER to have maximum impact, its open permissions need to be clearly stated. Choose and clearly display the open license for your resources. Selecting a license then is the next step. Look up for one that enables other people to retain, revise, remix, reuse, and redistribute your new OER.
If you are using material that is not yours (images, videos, exercises), select the ones that are licensed for open sharing and reuse. If you are unsure of whether a resource is “open,” please always feel free to contact the NYU Libraries Scholarly Communications and Information Policy department (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We recommend Creative Commons licenses, as they are a simple, standardized way to share and use your OER on the conditions of your choice. You retain the copyright of your work while allowing others to work with them.
This table shows the types of licenses Creative Commons provides: