OER Toolkit – Creating

Why Create OER?

  • Assures academic freedom to add content to your specifications
  • Extends your academic profile
  • Provides more relevant and engaging materials for students
  • Can be regularly updated
  • Reduces costs for districts and students

Attribution:  Text a derivative of BCOER Poster, by BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0

Consider this list of design tips to create sharable, reusable OER – and get help from the librarians along the way

  • Start with what’s there
    Look to existing collections with quality resources such as Nebraska’s OER Commons Hub. Also consider materials that you’ve created, which may be available offline and could be included within the hub.
  • Make it accessible
    It’s important to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners. Note that it is more work to make existing OER accessible than it is to create an accessible OER from the start. Download the accessibility checklist to guide your work.
  • Make it adaptable
    The more modular your content is, the easier it is for future users to reuse it. If you’re working on an course unit, separate your content by weekly and daily lessons. If possible, provide a version of your resource in an editable format, such as .docx or Google Docs.
  • Make it open
    Select and clearly display the Creative Commons license for your resource. If you integrate other materials into your resource, select those that are open. See the Licensing Module in this toolkit for information on choosing an open license, or contact your library for help.
  • Make it discoverable
    Work with library staff to determine the best platform for sharing the resource with others. Library staff can also advise you on adding appropriate descriptors that make your OER discoverable.
  • Invite critique
    Evaluate your resource using a rigorous rubric such as the Comprehensive OER Evaluation Rubric. Ask peers to review the resource using the evaluation rubric. OER development is an iterative process, so try to revisit your OER on a regular update cycle.

Additional Information:

Combining Licenses when creating

Creating OER and Combining Licenses Part 1. In this animated video, Michelle develops a chapter on metabolism for an open textbook. She uses her teaching notes for the text of the chapter, and finds openly licensed images and exercises to accompany the text. She also determines which Creative Commons license to assign to her finished chapter before sharing it.

Video Transcript: Creating_OER_and_Combining_Licenses_Part_1

Providing Accessible Resources

When creating resources it is important that institutions provide all resources in an accessible format “on demand”. There are no specific guidelines for what is accessible—other than it must meet the need of the student requesting the accessible format. However, as educators, we a have ethical obligations to ensure that courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities.

Unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, instructional resources can erect barriers that make learning difficult or impossible. Use the materials below to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners.

You can download the checklist in the following formats:

Authoring content in OER Commons

Three ways to create re-mixable content to be hosted on OER Commons. 

  1. Open author: Create media-rich resources
  2. Lesson Plans: Use the lesson builder template to create a lesson.
  3. Modules: Use the module builder template to create a module with different student and teacher facing views

Which tool in the Commons to use?

Resource has stable URL Want content to be remixable Need to import from Google Docs Have Resource links Need student facing view
Submit a Resource YES NO
Resource Builder YES YES YES but is embeded
Lesson Builder YES NO YES YES
Module Builder YES NO YES YES


EXAMPLES of OER Commons Resources by type:


Updated May 22, 2019 4:16pm