Introduction to the course

Welcome to the course

Described image
Figure 1 ‘A typical welcome’ (Quinn Dobrowski, photos/ quinnanya/ 5889720469/ in/ photostream/ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , CC-BY-SA 2.0)
  • Do you want to know more about how using free and openly licensed materials might develop and enhance your own practice or the practice at your institution or organisation?
  • Do you use others’ materials to help with your teaching, inspire your own practice or to facilitate learning opportunities for your colleagues or clients?
  • Are you interested in how to effectively share your materials and practices with others?
Described image
Figure 2 ‘OPES logo’ (CC-BY)

This course, which was produced as part of the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project is aimed at anyone who is curious about how ‘free’ and ‘open’ might change our approach to teaching and learning and has been designed for administrators, educators and facilitators in all sectors. It asks you to consider a range of questions. For example, how do I find open resources and what benefits might they bring? Does openness change our relationship to the content I create, the people I create content for, others with whom I share the material, and our own everyday practice and context? And if so, what impact, if any, does openness have on these practices and relationships?

This course is divided into five sections, each with an accompanying ‘If you want to know more …’ section, which thematically presents supplementary material and resources on the topics for that section. You can use the course in any way that you choose. When you’re ready you can tell us what you think about the course and help improve future iterations by completing a short survey. Once you've read this introduction you can progress through the course or you can dip in and out of it. If you want to gain a statement of participation or a digital badge you need to complete the course as outlined in the Course and badge information. You can also reuse, reversion and remix this course. You can navigate the course using the links on the left hand side of each page or by using the clickable course map below.

Clickable map of course navigation

Active content not displayed. This content requires JavaScript to be enabled.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The course begins with the basics of open educational practices (OEP) and open educational resources (OER). Section one of the course explores what ‘open’ means and what open practices and resources are. It also introduces the concept of an ‘open licence’ and what this means. Section two focuses on developing earlier discussions of open educational resources (OER) and explores why one might want to use OER or incorporate more open practices, both as individuals and at an institutional level. In addition, the course looks at the importance of developing both your own, and learners’, digital literacy.

Sections three and four of the course focus on the practicalities of using OER. Section three looks at using OER, where to find open resources, what factors might influence your resource choice, how to attribute a resource and introduces the idea of curation. Building on the introduction to using OER in section three, section four focuses on remixing open resources, what you will need to consider when you create OER, how to share your resources and how to choose the most appropriate licence for your context.

The final section of the course focuses on the importance of measuring the impact of what you create and explores a range of other practices you might want to consider. It also offers a range of different suggestions for ideas you might want to try before encouraging you to build on your work so far in the course to consider where you want to go next in your ‘open’ journey!

Learning outcomes

Described image
Figure 3 ‘Open’ (A. Currell, photos/ 23748404@N00/ 5771613631/, CC-BY-NC 2.0)

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • find and identify different open-licenced resources and be able to use them
  • create your own OER and understand best practice for incorporating open resources
  • plan appropriate practical steps for continuing your own ‘open’ journey.

How to use the course

This course is self-paced and designed to be taken as a ‘whole’. However, you might find that some sections of the course are more relevant for your context than others. If you do not have a facilitator or teacher role, for example, you might want to focus on sections one and two of the course which look at the basics and arguments for using open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP).

Course material has been structured so that there is a range of supplementary material to explore at the end of each section. Course activities make use of a reflective log where you can make notes and develop ideas that will provide the basis for reflecting on ‘where next’ in your open journey at the end of the course and in the future.

Described image
Figure 4 ‘CC on disk’ (Yamashita Yohei, photos/ monana7/ 321409149/ in/ photostream/, CC-BY 2.0)

Using the reflective log

Many of the activities in Becoming an open educator ask you to make use of a reflective log, a downloadable Word file that contains all the activity questions plus space for you to write your responses and thoughts as you work your way through the course. The log keeps all your ideas and thoughts in one place whilst making it easier to review them at any point. You might also like to use it as evidence of what you have achieved and of your development.

You can download your own copy of the course reflective log. As you work your way through the course you’ll need to make frequent use of it. Save a copy somewhere easy to find and ensure that the filename is something memorable.

Accessibility of this course

You can download the sections of this course in eBook, Kindle, Word and PDF formats to use offline however to achieve the digital badge or gain the Statement of Participation you will need to return to the online version. We have endeavoured to make the course as accessible as possible, however if you have suggestions on how we could improve the accessibility or if you find a particular aspect of the course or activity problematic from an accessibility perspective then please let us know at

Now go to Section 1 of the course.