The OER cycle

A team of people working at The Open University have devised a useful model for describing the process of selecting, adapting and using an OER for a learning episode. Each stage is described in more detail below.

  1. Identify learning need: This is the motivation for searching, linked to goals and development needs. The starting point is always a defined learning need. In your work, this is a teacher’s learning need – that is, what they need to be able to understand, know and do after the learning episode.
  2. Search for OER: Finding suitable OER to support development needs.
  3. Select OER: Judging whether the OER are suitable for use and whether they can be adapted for the intended teaching and learning context.
  4. Adapt/refine: Modifying the OER to use in context; refining it after evaluating its use to support learning.
  5. Use in practice: Using the adapted resource in a teaching context.
  6. Evaluate after use: Judging how well the OER has met the learning needs.
  7. Share: Sharing the OER with your local community and wider. The local community might be teacher educators you work with, head teachers in your district, or colleagues in your university or college. When you share the adapted OER, include notes on how the OER was used and its successes or otherwise in meeting the learning needs of the teachers.

Steps 5 and 6 are important: it is using OER such as the TESSA OER that will lead to new practices, not simply finding them! The rest of this section focuses on planning for the use of OER.

The OER cycle (which was originally designed for the TESS-India course Enhancing teacher education through OER) is also available as a downloadable resource [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Activity 4.4: Selecting and adapting OER

Timing: (Allow approximately 45 minutes)

There are many OER on the internet. It is very likely that you will need to adapt OER for your own use. In this activity you will focus on finding and adapting a TESSA resource. You will need to use the template for selecting and adapting OER, which is available as a Word file and PDF. Find an OER from TESSA that would be useful in your work with teacher learners.

  1. Now record in your study notebook:
    • The title of the OER.
    • Why you want to use it – what is the learning need?
    • How you will use it and whether you need to adapt it. Could you include ICT?
  2. Try out ideas from the OER and take photographs of your teacher learners interacting during the activity.
  3. Write an evaluation of what you tried in your study notebook. Was it successful? Did the students enjoy the activity?
  4. Complete the template and save the file on to your computer. If possible, share your idea with a colleague.

Critically reviewing OER repositories

Integrating OER