3.2 Where can I find OER?

Open educational resources (OER) can be found in many places, but it is not always immediately obvious where to find material that gives you explicit permission to reuse it or how to find the most relevant material for your context. Some of the more familiar places to find resources, such as Flickr, YouTube or Google, include filters so that you can show only openly licensed images or videos.

For example, when you are searching for an image on Google you can choose to see images with specific types of permissions for their reuse. To do this, once you have searched for a particular image, go to the ‘Search tools’ tab and choose ‘Labeled for reuse’ before selecting what type of licence you would like to see.

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Figure 3.1 ‘Google search by license’ (Beck Pitt, CC-BY), based on a search of www.google.co.uk [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

There are two ways to find openly licensed videos on YouTube. When searching for videos you can choose to add a range of different ‘filters’, and this includes ‘Creative Commons’ as a ‘Feature’ of the type of video you are seeking.

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Figure 3.2 ‘YouTube filters’ (Beck Pitt, CC-BY), based on https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Gxi78MxbdX0

However, you can also see what kind of licence an individual video carries. As you can tell from the licensing information provided in Figure 3, this video is available for reuse can be edited and remixed on YouTube.

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Figure 3.3 ‘YouTube licensing’ (Beck Pitt, CC-BY), based on https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Gxi78MxbdX0

You can find more detailed instructions on how to find OER on Google and YouTube and other platforms in this presentation by the ROER4D project: How and where to find OER’ or by looking at Glasgow Caledonian University’s guide to finding Creative Commons licensed images.

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Figure 3.4 ‘Solvonauts logo’ (Solvonauts, CC-BY)

There are also specific repositories that only contain OER. Whilst JORUM, the UK-based repository for sharing OER across all sectors is no longer maintained, other collections are available, such as the College Development Network’s site. OpenCNX (formerly Connexions) is a repository of OER where learners and educators can share and remix materials. The OER Quality project has created and crowdsourced a list of repositories around the world, and members of their project have been involved in creating a map of repositories.

You could also explore searchable and curated spaces offered by OER Commons or the European Commission’s Open Education Europa portal.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the resource you need for your own learning, or to help others. In the instance of OpenLearn, The Open University’s OER repository teams in Scotland and Wales have created themed ‘learning pathways’ to help learners navigate their way through materials, develop their interest in a particular area and build their confidence, whilst introducing them to higher education (HE) study. You can read more about how the Pathways programme was developed in Scotland and Wales. Helping learners navigate their way through materials is an important factor in enabling effective learning, and Section 3.5 on curation will look at this in more depth.

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Figure 3.5 ‘Open Pathways’ (OEPS, CC-BY-NC-SA)

Activity 3A

Think of a situation where you need to use an image created by others. Use an appropriate site such as Flickr or the search tool on the OEPS hub etc. to find a relevant openly licensed image.

Write down in your reflective log a brief description of the situation, the resource’s URL, what licence it has and explain why the open licence works within your context and the purpose you intended to use it for.

3.3 Choosing a resource