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 OER
- 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 similar tools.
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.
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 (see Caring Counts,
Counts in the Workplace, Reflecting on
Transitions and OpenLearn
Learner Guide for examples).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 email@example.com 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.