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    By: CC Open Textbook CollaborativeAs a part of collection: "Introduction to Open Educational Resources"

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    By: Cheryl RichardsonAs a part of collection: "Introduction to Open Educational Resources"

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OER Identifying Sources

Module by: Judy Baker. E-mail the author

Summary: Guide to identifying and selecting sources of open educational resources.

OER Tools to Identify and Select

Lesson Components

  • Fast Fact
  • Skill/Objective
  • Success Indicators
  • Introduction
  • Activity
  • Review questions
  • Resources

Fast Fact

Open Educational Resources (OER) are “digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and re-use for teaching, learning and research.” Term first adopted at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries funded by the Hewlett Foundation. - from Wikipedia

Skills/Objectives

Learners will be able to:

  1. Identify resources for use of primary sources as learning materials in their own teaching disciplines.
  2. Locate at least one primary source for use in teaching.
  3. Develop a lesson plan using primary sources.

Success Indicators

  1. OER added to learner's own online collection or portfolio.
  2. OER review posted by the learner.
  3. Posted lesson plan that uses at least one primary source as an OER for their own teaching.

Introduction

Several resources are available on the Internet that provide teachers with tools to identify and select OER for use in instruction. Some of these are: OER Commons, MERLOT, Connexions, FREE: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence, COL Knowledge Finder, and Creative Commons.

OER Commons

OER Commons is one of several Internet resources where you can identify and select OER. With a free membership, you can add tags, ratings, reviews, comments, and favorites to your own portfolio. You can post to discussion, blog, and wiki areas, and see how others are using OER.

OER Commons is created and produced by ISKME, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education. It is generously supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and represents dozens of collaborations with OER partners and communities across the globe.

MERLOT

MERLOT is a pioneer in the development of searchable and shareable online learning materials for higher education. The site provides collection of peer reviewed learning materials created by registered members. MERLOT provides criteria for peer-review of learning materials submitted.

Take a Tour of the new Merlot. Searches in MERLOT can be sorted by date, reviews ratings, title, author, and material type. A tutorial about how to search for learning materials using MERLOT is available from the SUNY Teaching, Learning, and Technology Program.

Connexions

Connexions has a repository of OER that are searchable by subject, language, popularity, title, keyword, and author.  The repository contains 3925 reusable modules woven into 211 collections. The content in Connexions comes in two formats: modules, which are like small "knowledge chunks," and courses, which are collections of modules. The Connexions Creative Commons open license allows for free use and reuse of all its content.

FREE

FREE: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence provides links to hundreds of education resources from or supported by the U.S. government.

OER Repositories

WikiEducator provides several tools for identification and use of OER including the Exemplary Collection of Open eLearning Content Repositories.Lola Exchange  provides learning objects and learning activities available for searching by topic, title, discipline, or author.  Disciplines listed are Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Business, Arts, Education, and Humanities.  All materials are reviewed according to standard criteria by volunteers. Curriki is a global education and learning community dedicated to providing quality learning materials worldwide.  Learning materials can be searched by the following topics:Arts, Educational Technology, Foreign Languages, Health, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Vocational Education.  A re-launch of the site is planned soon to add the following new features:

  • Access information, tools, and resources from the new member home page.
  • View and comment on other members' learning resources.
  • Edit and collaborate on learning materials, and build collections and resources with Currikulum Builder.
  • Develop content in the Currikulum Builder with templates.
  • Manage your own contributions and collections, as well as your user profile and blog, using your personalized space in MyCurriki.

COL Knowledge Finder

COL Knowledge Finder is a service that searches reliable sources of information in open and distance learning and provides organization tools. Emphasis is on international development goals like poverty alleviation, health and education for all. The COL Knowledge Finder service is provided by The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) which is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. To use the search tool, click on "Search". Then follow the guidelines on the screen. More details are available from the Orientation. Training videos for effective searching and use of the COL Knowledge Finder tools are available.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons provides a way to find shareable photos, music, text, books, and other educational material utilizing Creative Commons enabled search services at Google, Yahoo!, Flickr, blip.tv, Owlmusic, and SpinXpress. A Content Curators wiki area is available that provides a list of curators of Creative Commons-licensed content. Users are invited to contribute to and edit this list themselves.

Edu2.0

Take a tour of Edu2.0 to discover all browsable shared course content organized by topic. Resources include quizzes, webquests, presentations, projects, experiments, courses, classes, curricula, audio, video, powerpoint, excel and other kinds of attachments.

Activity

Experience

  1. Review the criteria available from MERLOT’s Peer Review process.
  2. Go to OER Commons, MERLOT, Connexions, and FREE to search for content in your teaching discipline.
  3. View the CNBC video interview with Scott McNealy about Curriki.
  4. Visit the OWL Institute Portal to search for resources, people and communities; browse courses and home pages or create your own.

Reflect

  1. Participate in the latest OER Commons Survey and check the results.
  2. Visit the OER Matters Discussions to read and post comments about the How and Why of OER:

"Share your thoughts, experiences and expertise on the OER movement, its challenges and potential impact. Why does OER matter, how does it work, and what are the possibilities for the future of use and re-use of open education content?"

Apply

1.  Review learning materials at OER Commons. Type keywords in the Search box in the upper right corner of the screen to identify at least one OER to review.

  • Click on Save this Search.
  • Sort by Rating. Click on the title of the OER you want to review, then click on View Item.
  • Click on Rate Item to give it your rating.
  • Click on Review Item to submit your review.

2.  Submit your review of some learning materials at MERLOT.  You will need to become a member before you can submit your review.

3. If you know of a good source of open educational resources, submit the Internet address for inclusion on the COL Knowledge Finder submit-a-site page.

Review Questions

  1. What are some of the repositories where OER can be located and reviewed?
  2. What tools and features are available to identify and select OER?

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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