Open education


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.

Chart demonstrating the different CC licences

See the image credits page for full list of image credits and attributions.

You can also find more information about Creative Commons licences by watching this video created by the University of Guelph:


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 Support 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].

You can also use this useful tool from Open Washington to create an attribution: https://www.openwa.org/attrib-builder/. You need to insert details such as the title of the OER, who created it, and which open licence is used, and the tool will build the attribution for you.