Module 5: Developing & Delivering OER

Developing OER | Practical Considerations | Software & Platforms | Delivering Content

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop a strategy for adopting, adapting, or creating OER materials for your course
  • Recognize technical platforms frequently used for publishing OER
  • Determine the platform for delivering your course

Developing OER

Educators create and adapt educational content for their courses every day: writing lecture notes, developing assessments, editing readings, creating exercises, and more. All of these activities could potentially start with an open educational resource someone else created, or end with sharing the newly created (or improved) resource under an open license. 

Watch: Creating Open Educational Resources by Abbey Elder

The most ambitious approach to OER is to create an open textbook yourself.  Prof. Nair of the Physics department, for example, wrote one (ebook, pdf) based on his lecture notes. The PDF version on CUNY’s Institutional Repository, Academic Works, has been downloaded more than 2,500 times by students and faculty in 96 countries from Latvia to Papua New Guinea.

Writing an open text book from scratch, however, is a huge undertaking. In addition, somebody might have already created content that can be repurposed and adapted. Much more manageable is to customize existing OER materials for your course or to compile OER/ZTC materials from various sources. A large number of composition instructors at CCNY took advantage of the vast amount of open content available on composition to build their OER courses.  Prof. Sloan of Sociology incorporated library-licensed content to develop several ZTC courses.

As more and more open textbooks are created, you might be able to find one that suits your course perfectly.  Professors De and Jha, for example, both use an open textbook published by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative for the course Principles of Macroeconomics. (Click here and here for the syllabi.)


This module was created by Ching-Jung Chen. Portions of the content were adapted from: