Advice for those new to OER

This is in response to an introduction in the Greetings area of OEG Connect where @Kath_b who just wandered in here was looking for advice to those new to creating OER. This is what we can do here- connect you!

So if you are new to OER, maybe introduce yourself, where you work/teach/study, subject areas, and maybe what are your top questions?

And if you are more experienced with OER, share a response, or offer a few suggestions for anyone new to them. Like one example we offer here from CCCOER is their reference site for Learn OER

I might also suggest the Iowa State University OER Starter Kit

but there are likely many many more suggestions.


This is great! Thanks very much @cogdog :raised_hands:t2: for sharing those links - that is just the kind of thing I am looking for.

A little bit about me: my background is in humanities research and education publishing and I am currently working with a small group of publishers and librarians to create an open resource for MLIS students. The resource will introduce the concept of engaged research and publication, with a specific emphasis on the public engagement between scholars and their partners and drawing on under-represented aspects of the humanities. The aim of the resource will be to equip MLIS students to create a values-based framework for supporting scholars and their partners.

We have lots of text and plenty of examples! And we’re keen to make the resource as interactive as possible with embedded videos and quizzes. We have ideas for using various tools for that, including H5P to test knowledge.

If there’s anyone here who could provide us with any inputs on assessment that would be wonderful!

We’re also focused on writing content that simplifies complex concepts - which am sure is a common aspiration. Any/all tips and hints there would be gratefully received!

Thank you!

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Kath: Please check out our (the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas) openly-licensed, self-paced training Texas Learn OER. Only one module is Texas focused; all the others are applicable to anyone in any context! And you can earn a certificate of completion – and/or adapt it to your own local context. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any question about it.



Thanks very much - this is very impressive and hugely useful! Kath

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My pleasure, Kath! Happy to help.

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Hi all,

Thank you for the resources. They look very interesting, especially the chapter about developing OER.

My name is Moshe Rachmuth, I teach General Studies and Modern Hebrew at Portland State University.

My professional background is in computer science, religious studies, and comparative literature.

I’m new to OER, and would like to put a course that I teach on ethics and game-theory online, so that users can learn it on their own or instructors adopt/adapt it for their classes.

I’m still wondering what is the right platform for this.

I looked at the Oregon OER: Oregon Open Learning | OER Commons

Do you have any experience with this?

Ideal for me would be to create a “home” for the course where I put materials and keep tweaking them to improve. Like most of us, every time I teach a class it changes, which changes the class-plan for the next time, and I would like a modular space where I could get going fast and then keep constructing.

All the best,



Hi Moshe
I have found the OER commons authoring tool really useful to think through the design of the resource we are creating. For a newbie, it has been very straightforward to use. In a way, that also makes me wonder if it’s the right platform to use. There is a ‘remix’ function and the easy segmentation looks like it would support the introduction of new/fast modular content.

Keeping a versioning history going if you are going to be tweaking/adding content and encouraging remixing is crucial and thought that the OER Starter Kit had a neat way of presenting that: Versioning History – The OER Starter Kit

Have you explored any other platforms?


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Thank you, Kath, for sharing your experience with the OER Starter Kit. The only other platform I looked at was the Oregon one.
I don’t have testimonies on the Oregon kit, so the Iowa kit sounds more tempting at this stage. I didn’t read yet to see if it comes with a platform.
Are you, too, building a course?

Happy to see this discussion here. I think there are some things to clarify when you are talking about platforms for your course materials.

The first point should be checking with your own institution as to what they provide and support, be it an Learning Management System, or course sites, or platforms like WordPress for courses.

OERCommons is primarily a clearinghouse for a vast variety of OER produced in a variety of ways (many seem to be PDF), that is what you find for the Open Oregon collection, it’s not itself a building “kit”. It’s a collection much like Merlot But as Kath notes, it does offer an authoring platform for creating content (I have no experience with it not any idea yet how fully featured it is).

The OER Starter Kit linked above is built in Pressbooks, a very popular open textbook publishing platform, not strictly a course materials platform, but maybe it can be used. Many institutions offer it as a service, or it can be set up individually.

Before going down too many tool pahs, I’d encourage you to check with your local faculty support staff/library for what platforms are already there for you or recommend.

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Thank you, Alen!
This is very helpful.

I think I have a colleague in mind whom I contact first about what PSU can support me with.