OER: Customising, Repurposing and Sharing

Using OER in the design of learning activities can be an effective and efficient strategy for extending your current unit designs. The following sections support you to do this successfully by answering:

  • How to use or repurpose OER
  • Sharing your own work appropriately (through open licensing)

Adapting and repurposing OER to suit your specific requirements can involve inserting and removing components, changing the order of learning activities, editing and remixing content (images, text, audio and video). In every case, the starting point needs to be the purpose of the adaptation.

The first step to repurposing an open resource is to identify what you would like to achieve through the adaptation or derivative work. Re-use or re-purposing of OER often requires editing for a specific context in order to:

  • address a particular teaching style or learning style
  • adapt for a different level of learning
  • adapt for a different discipline
  • adjust for a different learning environment
  • address diversity needs
  • address a cultural preference
  • support a specific pedagogical need
  • reflect a course, discipline or school approach

(adapted from OpenStax CNX)

From a course or unit design perspective, open education resources may promote the use and customisation of reusable learning designs.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning Curriculum page can assist you to critically evaluate resources from a repurposing point of view as well as design how the resource can be incorporated into your course or unit.

Having selected the open resources that you want to use, there are various methods for editing, repurposing and embedding content into your teaching. Choosing a technique appropriate for you will depend on a range of factors, including: resource availability, technical expertise, time and importance. The UNSW videos, 'Integrating online content into your teaching' and 'Using Flickr as an online classroom', contain examples and teaching commentary of searching, copyright and reusability of resources.

can assist you with technical advice on reusability or reformatting of resources. Alternatively simple editing can be done in applications such as Paint (e.g. for adding attribution details to a photo), or YouTube using their Video Editor.

Underpinning the entire OER movement is the act of sharing and open licensing. The decision to share your SCU teaching material through open licensing needs careful consideration. Creative Common licences are non-revocable so you need to make an informed and legally appropriate choice for applying an open licence to any SCU teaching material.

Which Creative Commons (CC) licence to choose?

The best place to start in determining an appropriate copyright licence for your work is to clarify which rights you'd like to reserve and which rights may be made 'open'. Considering your options through a licensing flowchart may help to determine which of the Creative Commons licences is most appropriate for your situation and resource.

When deciding on which Creative Commons licence to choose, you will also need to consider any Intellectual Property (IP) rights and conditions related for your SCU work. The SCU library provides a useful guide for choosing an appropriate CC licence, on its (OER) page.

When you are clear on the appropriate licence for your work, the Creative Commons site includes a Licence Wizard that makes establishing an open licence extremely quick and simple.

Combining Creative Commons Licences

Video: Creating OER & Combining Licences, Part 2
The Orange Grove | Transcript subtitles

If you have used open resources in your new work then you need to choose a CC licence that is compatible with these other licences.

The open licensed video on the right provides practical information for establishing an appropriate open licence your SCU work.