Open education


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, browse the help documents on this website or email us at: oer@ucl.ac.uk. The following services/resources can provide additional support:

Content preparation

OER is about portability and re-usability. Make sure the file type, size, and formatting are fully accessible and adaptable; open document formats (ODF) are open, accessible, and adaptable file formats and can be used for this purpose.

Further information can be found on the UCL Research Data Management 'Choosing file formats' webpage.

Text filesODT, RTF, PDF, PDF/A
Tabular informationCSV
DatabasesXML, CSV
VideoMPEG4, WebM
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.

  • If you would like to 'stamp' an image with a certain Creative Commons licence, you can use this CC Stamper tool.
  • 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:

1. Repositories

UCL hosts its OER content on the OpenEd@UCL repository. Please contact the UCL OE 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.