"We will establish UCL as an international hub for innovation in teaching"

Prof Michael Ewing, Dean of Students (Academic)


man at computer

How to create OER

While turning a pre-existing resource into an OER is very worthwhile, it's vital that you follow these steps before doing so:

Content preparation

OER is about portability and re-usability. Make sure the file type, size and formatting are fully accessible and adaptable, using the guidelines below:

Text files
Open document format (.odt); rich text format (.rtf); portable document format (.pdf)
Images PNG, JPEG
Audio MP3
Video MPEG4

Read the guidance on creating accessible resources provided by JISC TechDisc.

Xerte Online Toolkits is free software developed by Nottingham University which enables anyone with a web browser to create interactive learning materials easily.

Rights clearance process

This involves identifying who owns the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) behind 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. Use this JISC-funded IP resources page to download useful guidance and consent forms.

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.


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:

  1. Repositories

    Some organisations, such as the Open University, host their own content, while general repositories like Jorum host resources on behalf of others. Others, including Humbox, specialise in particular subject areas. They all offer the advantage of advanced search functionality and a large audience.

  2. Social media

    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). Popular social media sites can potentially draw a much larger audience to your resources than standard repositories. 

  3. Other websites

    Resources can also be shared by simply uploading them to your own or any public website that will accept them.

Page last modified on 06 feb 13 11:19

Tell us about the inspiring teaching and learning taking place in your department: email teaching.learning@ucl.ac.uk