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Students and OER

Module by: ISKME. E-mail the author

Summary: This module provides ideas for how you can work with your students using OER.

Note: You are viewing an old version of this document. The latest version is available here.

The module, “What is Localization?,” provided overview of localization—making content context-specific. This module, “Students and OER,” will present OER activities you can use with your students.

Students and OER

The OER process has the potential for supporting new instructional approaches in the classroom. These approaches become possible because the conditions that OER provides lend flexibility for sharing educational resources worldwide. These conditions are scaffolded by the variety of nonrestrictive licenses to choose from (see OER Licensing and Conditions of Use) as well as the ability to access these resources through OER repositories. As educators integrate OER into their teaching, students benefit from exposure to a wider range of pedagogical expressions through the materials created by other educators and learners from all over the world. This diversity of pedagogical approaches and cultural perspectives is a foundational aspect of OER. The endless options that this diversity provides give educators and learners a springboard for integrating new ways of working in educational environments.

Students are not only impacted by the diversity of materials offered through OER. The OER process opens up possibilities for collaborations with other students as well as with their teachers in creating content. Here are a few ideas on how OER can benefit students:

  • The activity of remixing content can provide new ways of looking at the subject which can open up dialogue between teacher and student and student to student. It can also help develop cognitive skills as well as computer skills.
  • Using an OER repository as a portal for collaborative assignments can spark students working with each other within a local classroom as well as with students in schools in any part of the world.
  • Teachers can guide students in the creation of content with the intent of submitting it to an OER repository. The act of sharing back content assists students in becoming participants of and not just consumers of content. Knowing that others will use their work instills a sense of ownership, pride, and a quest for creating high quality work.

OER stories from around the world

Katrín’s assignment in her teacher training class is to use OER with her students.

Students collaborate on an English assignment to create a web-based magazine.

Your experience using open and freely shared course-related materials is valuable in the reuse and evolution of the materials. Tell us your story; how you’ve used these materials and how their use has impacted how you teach or learn.

Integrating OER Into the Classroom

These links provide direct access to several course-related components available in OER Commons. Consider using or remixing one or more of these components to either present to your students or as hands-on activity for your students to engage with the OER process.

The results list for all the course-related components can be refined using any combination of over 70 filtering criteria by clicking on the “Filter Results” button.

The OER process of use, modification, and sharing back can become part of an instructional approach you take with students. Not only can you customize openly sharable materials that you present to your students, but you can also facilitate the OER process with your students to help them become producers of content. The content your students create becomes part of their learning process as well as a representation of their learning.

Activity: Share Your Experience

We’re discussing the impact of OER in Teaching and Learning in OER Commons. Post your stories, suggestions, and questions with using OER materials in your teaching and learning. Here are a few questions to consider in your post:

  1. Share some of your teaching strategies in how you have implemented OER with your students.
  2. Describe how your students have used OER.
  3. What have been your challenges in using OER with your students?
  4. If you haven’t used OER with your students, what are the barriers?

For More Information

The following resources have been selected to provide more information on concepts we covered in this module.

Other modules in this course include …

OER Commons Links

For more information about OER Commons, send an email to

Use this feedback form to send OER Commons general feedback, a feature request, or information about a bug/problem you had using the site.

To see the ever-growing list of the new content providers and contributors to OER Commons, visit the Content Providers page often. You can be one too!

“Quotable Quote”

Successful students create to learn, and learn to create.1

About This Module

The "How Tos" of OER Commons is a set of learning modules evolving out of the development of OER Commons (, a teaching and learning network for free-to-use educational materials from around the world, created and licensed by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).

Course contributors are Lisa Petrides, Amee Godwin, and Cynthia Jimes, and online learning consultant, Patricia Delich.

For more information, visit and


  1. Shneiderman, B. (2002). Leonardo’s Laptop. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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