Before you attempt to upload anything online you need to think about the following:
Audience and purpose
You need to consider the audience and purpose for your open
course/resource. Who will use it and for what reasons? These are
important questions you will need to think about when creating your open
course. You may have a specific target audience in mind with very
particular needs or you might be aiming at a broader audience who have a
general interest in your subject. Write the learning outcomes of your
course/resource as you consider audience and purpose.
Your open course or resource may be very short, simple and
straightforward, however you still need to think about learning design
and how your audience might benefit from a well-designed resource.
See the OU Learning Design Initiative for more information about learning design.
Alternatively, you may want to implement a less structure lead
approach (considered by some as 'disruptive') to your course design by
collaborating with others within your space to create materials together
and move them around as the course design emerges from different
content contributions by each author.
Structure and Metadata
It is good practice to structure your open course or resource from
the start. This is partly because moving things around might be more
time consuming later. However, if you are opting for a very simple,
single page design or are collaborating with others in your space create
the course, this will be less important at the start, though you may
want to review the structure later.
Structuring the course can mean creating a storyboard for
your course and collating a set of assets before beginning to decide how best
to display and deliver the course. It
will also help you decide which Moodle resources and activities are the most
suitable to use for each part of the 'story' of your course.
You need to ensure that you complete the metadata (data about your
course) to make it easy to find in online searches - if useful metadata
is not included, then search engines will not find your course, even
though OpenLearn Create is Google indexed. Metadata includes keywords
or tags, labels and descriptions.
It is usually a good idea for an open course to have the following elements:
- Course overview - A section with useful information about the OER (you might call this 'week 0' or 'before you start')
- Learning outcomes
- A straightforward logical structure that reflects the amount of
material included and the time the user might spend working through the
- Overview text for each section/week/topic if the OER is divided in this way
- A 'Where next' section for what users might do after they've completed the course
- Some form of 'evaluation' of the course and assessment (e.g. self-assessment, quizzes, badges)
- Acknowledgements (especially if some of the resources you include are copyright)
You need to decide how the course is displayed on screen - for
several hours of study dividing the material into sections, weeks or
topics with each of these on a different page will make it more
manageable. For a very short study time all the material could probably
be on one page (freeform).
Although you can write directly into your open course or resource and
create it online in collaboration with others, it is a good idea to do
most of your drafting in a word processing package first so you can get
the structure and content right. Alternatively you could collaborate
with others online to create your content using Google docs or other
In addition to text, you need to collate all the images, figures,
diagrams and video / audio material you wish to use and check that you
have the relevant permissions to use these resources. It is helpful to
create an inventory of these items to help you keep track of them.
Publishing your open course or resource on OpenLearn Create carries
the expectation that, where possible, the content you are
reusing/creating has been released under the CC-BY-NC-SA version 4.0
creative commons licence. For all material you want to use that cannot
be released under this licence you must have obtained permission to
reuse and the source must be attributed accordingly in your
Acknowledgements section. Find out more about copyright (this link takes you to another website).
It is always good practice to consider how your open education
resource might be used by people with visual impairment, dyslexia,
mental health conditions or other special requirements. Alternative
formats, transcriptions of video or audio resources and captioning of
video resources are all things you need to include if you are to make
your OER accessible to as many people as possible. One of the great
advantages with providing accessible resources is that learners who have
no disabilities also find alternative formats useful, depending on the
context in which they are learning, for example transcripts can help
students follow a video more easily.
Assessment and rewards
You may decide that you want learners to enrol on your
course and work through assessment activities to earn a statement of
participation and / or a course badge.OpenLearn Create has the functionality to support open badges. You
will need to work out what the assessment criteria will be for your course
badge, complete the project request form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org so the
OpenLearn Create team can review it and discuss your course with you. Subsequently you will need to design your
badge and complete and submit a badge details form which will be sent to you once
your badge request has been reviewed.