More than merely collecting content on a specific subject, strong curation involves carefully selecting content and evaluating it for a specific purpose. When OER are part of the curation process, content deemed useful during the evaluation process can then be customized by the curator, and re-shared for future users.
Below is a high level overview of the processes and steps involved in curating OER.
Introductory text is a derivative of Content Curation: Finding the Needles in the Haystacks, by Christopher Lister, Roaming Educator, licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 International.
There are a multitude of OER out there to choose from, including open textbooks, courses, multimedia resources, and data. These can be found by searching regular search engines (like Google), but it is much easier to find them through dedicated OER repositories or libraries. Below is a sampling of such repositories and libraries.
The eCampus Open Textbook Library offers a curated collection of textbooks, many of which have been reviewed and vetted by educators across Canada.
In addition to the eCampus Open Textbook Library, other websites offer collections of open textbooks. Below is a sampling of these libraries, from both Canada and the U.S.
The collections of aggregated OER below are some of the larger known initiatives that are utilized by educators and library staff in Canada and elsewhere. Many of them have overlapping resources, as they curate and aggregate their content from the same content providers.
The collections listed below offer a range of multimedia resources for use and integration into teaching and learning. .
Open data may include non-textual material such as map-based data, mathematical and scientific formulae, medical data, demographic data, financial data, and so forth. The collections listed below are all freely available to use, integrate, modify and manipulate to meet local needs.
The best OER evaluation rubrics include traditional evaluative criteria that address a resource’s editorial quality. They also include criteria that address resource portability, and resource effectiveness in engaging learners. Below is a sampling of rubrics that are recommended for use in evaluating OER.
Use or adapt this OER Evaluation Tool, which was originally created by Achieve, Inc. Achieve is a US-based education nonprofit, and a leader in the development of OER evaluation rubrics.
The tool has been tailored for the OCLS post-secondary context. It is comprised of eight rubrics for assessing OER—ranging from how well the resource is aligned to learning outcomes, to the degree to which the resource meets local accessibility standards.
You can download the tool in the following formats:
For open textbook reviews, you may wish to use the BC Open Textbook Review Criteria. This rubric contains criteria that much of the field uses in evaluating open textbooks. Specific criteria listed include the comprehensiveness of the textbook, the organization and flow, and the cultural relevance of the textbook content.
You can download the rubric in the following formats:
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires that institutions provide all resources in an accessible format “on demand”. There are no specific guidelines for what is accessible-- other than it must meet the need of the student requesting the accessible format. However, as educators, we a have ethical obligations to ensure that courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities.
Unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, instructional resources can erect barriers that make learning difficult or impossible. Use the Accessibility Checklist, which has been aligned to accessibility standards. The Checklist will help to ensure that the resources you curate are accessible to all learners.
You can download the checklist in the following formats:
If you identify changes or additions you want to make to your resource based on your evaluation results, you can use the field-tested guides and tools below to help you in your alignment effort.
The BC Open Accessibility Toolkit - Opens in a new window offers resources and guidelines to support content creators in creating truly open and accessible textbooks.The BC Open Accessibility Toolkit is a collaboration between BCcampus and the Centre for Accessible Post-secondary Education Resources BC (CAPER-BC).
Module Builder - Opens in a new window is a tool that allows authors to create both student and instructor facing content views. Authors are encouraged to include overviews, pedagogical supporting text, and instructions for both students and other users of the resource.
Module Builder is a tool available through OER Commons - Opens in a new window and its suite of Open Author tools.
There are many ways to share OER. You may want to forward your OER to colleagues via email, or share it within your local learning management system. Below are tools and information to help you in describing, organizing, and assigning a licence to your OER to enable subsequent use of your OER by others, within and beyond your college.
The OER Commons - Opens in a new window library offers interfaces for users to select from lists of recommended descriptors, as well as to create customized taxonomies for describing and organizing OER into personal or shared collections around specific topics, subject areas, or courses.
Although not designed uniquely for OER curation, LiveBinders - Opens in a new window allows users to create a central hub of digital resources on a topic, organized by a system of tabs. Peer and user feedback can be added to each binder through sharing and commenting features.
LibGuides - Opens in a new window are a useful tool that many libraries already subscribe to and that library staff could use for organizing OER by discipline, subject or topics, and for specific courses when collaborating with faculty.
When you curate coursework or collections that include OER, you'll need to consider how those resources may be used by others based on the copyright permissions that are allowed. If you are curating a resource or collection with content from various sources, you'll also need to consider how the different licences for each piece of content should be integrated into your final resource or collection.
Watch this short video clip on Combining Open Licences to help guide you through these considerations. You can also download the Combining Open Licences video transcript.
Library staff bring specific knowledge and skills to the OER curation process, as outlined below.
Text a derivative of “How Libraries can Help”, in CCCOER: Faculty and Librarians Selecting High Quality OER, by Tina Ulrich, licensed under CC BY 4.0
This webinar discusses the four key roles that libraries play in faculty adoption of OER: Researcher, curator, educator, and content creator. It also addresses the tools that library staff use in their OER-related work. You can also download The Library role in OER CCCOER webinar video transcript.
Video from CCCOER, CC BY 4.0>