Welcome to OpenEd@UCL!
Sharing and showcasing our educational outputs
OpenEd@UCL is the institutional repository for uploading, publishing, storing, and sharing OER, and you can browse it here.
The Open Education repository is currently being piloted as a
joint project between ISD and UCL Library Services. It supports
key agendas such as the Connected Curriculum and Open Science by
enabling colleagues to disseminate educational
practice which will raise
the profile of their teaching inside UCL and externally.
What is OER?
Open educational resources (OER) are digital and reusable learning/instructional objects produced through teaching and training
activities. This can include recorded lectures and
seminars, handouts, essays, diagrams, animations, videos, presentation slides, reading lists, and so
on. They do not have to be a full course, but can be individual items
created by staff to aid teaching and learning. Anything that can be
reused for teaching and training is an OER.
OER examples. See bottom of Resources page for full list of image credits and attributions.
Why use OER?
Using and creating OER has many benefits for your teaching. Here are just some examples of how your professional growth can be impacted:
- Showcases teaching and research to widest possible audience
- Publication of OER demonstrates teaching/research output, and can be referenced by others to widen professional reputation
- Ability to communicate ideas with greater reach and enhances knowledge exchange
- A means of supporting collaboration with other practitioners in the field, both institutionally and externally
- Cost- and time-effective
- Quality assurance through the UCL brand and institutional reputation
- Allows for peer review
- Attracts quality staff and students
- Allows engagement with content and learning in different ways, i.e. flipped classroom
- Can add value to teaching and research
- Maximises the use and increases availability of educational materials
- Raises standard of educational resources by gathering more contributors
- Shares best practice internationally
- Supports curriculum development
- Enables prospective students to explore the curriculum when choosing a course
- Allows for UCL teaching to impact global knowledge sharing and learning
- Enhances a university’s reputation as well as that of the teacher or researcher
- Social responsibility – providing education for all and supports the dissemination of knowledge
How to re/use OER
Using or reusing (modifying, adapting, or changing) OER when creating your teaching materials is a worthwhile activity and can help you save time over the long-term.
- Locate OER
Find OER and open content that is relevant and suitable for the teaching content you want to tailor and/or create. You can find OER by exploring the links under the 'Where to find OER' tab. These can include diagrams which illustrate a certain point, or a presentation that you can adapt for your students.
- Identify and understand licences
Once you have found OER, you must determine what permissions you have to re/use that item. Often, a teaching resource will have a Creative Commons licence attributed to it; this will indicate whether the OER can be copied, and/or re/used for commercial purposes, and/or modified, and/or require attribution, and/or must be shared with the same licence.
When using or reusing OER, you must adhere to that learning object's permissions.
- Creative Commons licences
Illustrated below are examples of the different CC licences and what sharing and re/use permissions they allow.
See bottom of Resources page for full list of image credits and attributions.
- Third-party content and obtaining permission
Third-party content is content that is licensed or owned by another person or organisation other than yourself. You can re/use third-party content in your OER as long as you have obtained permission to do so.
Where the licence and re/use information for an OER is not explicitly stated, you must obtain clarification and permission from the creator/owner of the teaching content before you use it.
It is your responsibility to retain permission information; the OER team and UCL Copyright Officer can provide support information.
- Including attributions
If you are re/using OER and must attribute the author, the Creative Commons Wiki page details best practice for attribution. We recommend the following attributive text as a minimum citation. Note: [italicised text within square brackets] defines properties must be selected and bold text indicates where hyperlinked information is required:
Attribution[s]: [Document/image/presentation/etc.] [adapted/copied] from "[document title]" by [Author name] (UCL), which is licensed under the [CC BY-SA 4.0/etc. licence].
How to create OER
While turning a pre-existing resource into an OER is very worthwhile, it's vital that you follow these steps if you are creating OER from scratch:
- Support services
If you are staff based at UCL and would like to learn more about creating open teaching or training materials, Digital Education should be your first port of call. The following services/resources can provide additional support:
- Digital Curation Centre (DCC): IPR and licensing
- OER Commons Open Author
- Open Learn Create
- STEM OER starter pack
- UCL Arena Centre
- UCL Digital Education
- UCL Digital Media
- UCL Learning Designer
- UCL Lecturecast
- UCL MediaCentral
- UCL Press: Publish with UCL Press
- UCL Teaching and Learning: Teaching resources
- Xerte Online Toolkits is free software developed by Nottingham University which enables anyone with a web browser to create interactive learning materials easily.
- Content preparation
OER is about portability and re-usability. Make sure the file type, size, and formatting are fully accessible and adaptable. Further information can be found on the UCL Research Data Management 'Choosing file formats' webpage.
ODT, RTF, PDF, PDF/A Tabular information
XML, CSV Images
TIFF, PNG, JPEG
MP3, FLAC, WAV Video
- Rights clearance process
This involves identifying who owns the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) behind or within a resource. You need to know this to determine whether or not you can legally use the resource as an OER. You must obtain the author/rights owner's permission to release anything to which you do not own the rights. For example, if you use a photograph you have found on the Internet which does not belong to you (third-party content), you must seek permission for reuse or remove it.
- Open licensing
Decide how open you wish your resource to be and then select the corresponding licence to give access while preserving the author's rights. Creative Commons (CC) licences are a specific type of open licence, used commonly with OER, which allow you to share resources for free. More information, and the opportunity to generate and download CC licences, can be found on the Creative Commons website. The licence should be embedded within the resource so that users can see the terms on which they can make use of the resource. Note that indigenous and culturally sensitive resources may require a Traditional Knowledge (TK) Label or Licence.
In order for potential users to find resources online, and to understand the scope of a resource, it is vital to include relevant metadata. This is information about the resource, such as the author’s name, the date the resource was created, keywords, and the educational context in which the resource has previously been used. Read more about OER description and metadata guidelines.
- Sharing OER
Sharing can be done in three ways:
UCL hosts its OER content on the OpenEd@UCL repository. Please contact the UCL OER team for more information on this.
2. Social media
Once your content is uploaded to the OpenEd@UCL repository, you can share it via social media sites which can potentially draw a much larger audience to your resources than standard repositories.
3. Other websites
Many Web 2.0 sites (e.g. Flickr, YouTube, iTunes U) share material on a particular theme or of a particular type (e.g. video, photographs). Resources can also be shared by simply uploading them to your own or any public website that will accept them.
Where to find OER
Other OER related to higher education can be found on websites or specialist
repositories for research, learning, and teaching resources.
- All Projects (UCL Culture)
- Future Learn
- Grant Museum of Zoology Catalogue: This is the searchable catalogue of the specimens held by the Grant Museum of Zoology. It is an ongoing work in progress, and currently records around twenty-five percent of the Grant Museum collection. All images (except where specifically noted) and text in the catalogue can be used under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence.
- Institute of Archaeology Collections: The Institute of Archaeology houses fine teaching and reference collections.
- Institute of Education LibGuides
- iTunes U: Download and watch over 164 interviews, lectures and other UCL content via iPods or computers. Topics range from business to science, with the free lunch hour lectures proving most popular.
- Materials Library (UCL Institute of Making): The Materials Library is a collection of some of the materials on Earth. It is a resource, laboratory, studio, and playground for the curious and material-minded to conduct hands-on research through truly interdisciplinary inquiry and innovation.
- ReadingLists@UCL: Gives students easy access to materials on their reading lists wherever they are and gives academic staff the freedom to create and update their lists whenever they need.
- Self-Access Centre Database from the UCL Centre for Languages and International Education - CLIE; (login may be required)
- UCL Art Museum Catalogue: UCL Art Museum holds over 9,000 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures dating from the 1490s to the present day. All images and text can be used under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence.
- UCL CampusPress (student blog)
- UCL Culture Resources
- UCL Discovery
- UCL Ethnographic Collections Online Catalogue: Created in the 1940s, about 2000 objects and 3000 photographs represent cultures from all five continents, with particular strengths in Africa and Oceania. The collection is a resource for teaching and every student in the anthropology department engages with the objects during their courses. All images and text can be used under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence.
- UCL Events
- UCL Imagestore (login may be required)
- UCL Lecturecast (login may be required)
- UCL Life Learning
- UCL MediaCentral (login may be required)
- UCL Micropalaeontology Unit: The purpose of this site is to provide an introduction to the subject of micropalaeontology based on microfossil images. It draws on over fifty years of experience teaching and researching into all aspects of micropalaeontology.
- UCL Moodle (login may be required)
- UCL News
- UCL Software Database (login may be required)
- UCL Special Collections: UCL Library Special Collections is one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK (login may be required).
- UCL Sound (SoundCloud)
- UCLTV on YouTubeEdu: UCLTV is UCL's official channel on YouTube EDU, showcasing mini-lectures and student-focused features. The channel contains around 150 videos, which have been viewed over half a million times.
- UCL Wiki
- Vertebrate Diversity: The following web-book contains a series of information pages broadly outlining the diversity of living vertebrates, with a few notes on their fossil relatives.
- Vertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution: This resource is designed to familiarise you with the structure, diversity and evolutionary history of vertebrates through analysing images of specimens held at UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology. All images have accompanying text, including information about the specimen plus hints about what to look for and the questions to consider when analysing the images. Licensed under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence.
- Glasgow Caledonian University edShare@GCU
- HumBox: This project was part of a wider Open Educational Resources initiative funded by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and the HEA, to showcase UK Higher Education by encouraging teachers within HE institutions to publish excellent teaching and learning resources openly on the web.
- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Public lectures and events: podcasts and videos
- Open University OpenLearn
- University of Cambridge Language Centre Open Courseware
- University of Cambridge Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS): Promotes access of all supplementary teaching material and is a library of exemplar teaching and learning packages (TLPs) covering common topics related to Materials Science.
- University of Edinburgh Open.Ed
- University of Leicester OER Repository
- University of Nottingham U-Now Open Courseware
- University of Oxford OpenSpires
- University of Southampton Free online courses and MOOC
- Applied Math and Science Education Repository (AMSER)
- College Open Textbooks
- Delft University of Technology OpenCourseWare (OCW)
- Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
- Europeana Collections
- Google Open Online Education Resource Library
- Kyoto University Kyoto-U OCW
- Lumen Learning
- MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) MERLOT
- Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)
- National Science Digital Library (NSDL) NSDL
- OER Commons Open Textbooks
- OER on the Internet Archive
- Open Culture Free Textbooks
- Open Textbook Library
- Project Gutenburg
- Rice University OpenStax (formerly Connexions)
- Saide OER Africa
- University of British Columbia BCcampus OpenEd
- University of the Phillipines TVUP
- World Digitial Library
- Yale University Open Yales Courses (OYC)