4.7 Remixing OER to include in your course

The following activity is copied from an openly licensed short course on OpenLearn An introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . It neatly illustrates the process you need to go through to redesign existing OER to suit your specific purposes. You can choose to do this optional activity now or think about the implications of what is involved as you read it.

Activity 1

Allow between two and three hours
  • Find some OER material that interests you, or that you think you might like to develop. It could be on a topic you know about, or something completely new.
  • Decide who your learners are – what they already know (if anything) about the topic you’ve chosen, what might get them interested. (You may need to cycle through these first two bullet points a few times, before you settle on some material and some learners.)
  • Now that you’ve found the material, and have decided on your learners, set out what you see as the material’s strengths and weaknesses. What is missing? Does it go into too much detail, or not enough? If the material is on a topic that is completely new to you, you can test it against your own requirements: does it help you learn?
  • Find or suggest some new content – and explain what this adds to the existing material, and why you feel it will be useful and relevant for your learners.


When working through this process of finding OER to reuse you would be evaluating material you find to decide whether it is relevant and usable for your purpose. On good sites there would be ratings and review tools which might inform your views on the viability of material you consider for reuse. It is unlikely that you will reuse an entire course in your material, you’re more likely to pick and choose relevant pieces which translate well into your context and this will inevitably result in writing contextual information to frame an activity or a piece of information. So although finding and reusing OER saves time creating something from scratch, you still need to allow time for critical evaluation of the material you find and possibly some re-writing.

4.6 Length of audio and video assets

4.8 Managing open assets