Presentation: How and Where to Find Open Educational Resources (OER) By: Henry Trotter Delivered at the University of South Africa (UNISA) on 18 March 2015
Hello, my name is Henry Trotter. I am a researcher with the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) programme hosted at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT). My current work, which this presentation emerges from, explores the role of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the higher education sector in South Africa. I also provide research capacity building services to the programme. I have some prior experience in the “open movement” having worked with the Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) and publishing the book “Seeking Impact and Visibility: Scholarly Communication in Southern Africa”. I am also a PhD student of African history at Yale University, working on a dissertation on South African port culture, out of which my book, “Sugar Girls & Seamen: A Journey into the World of Dockside Prostitution” emerged. For more information, see: http://www.henrytrotter.com
The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project aims to provide evidence-based research from a number of countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South / South East Asia. The primary objective of the programme is to improve educational policy, practice, and research in developing countries by better understanding the use and impact of OER. With Glenda Cox at UCT, I conduct research in one of the programme’s sub-projects which focuses on OER in South Africa, but also comparing it with data from another sub-project based in India. For more information, see: http://www.roer4d.org
In this presentation, I want to share some simple tips and tricks for finding Open Educational Resources through not only conventional search engines such as Google, but more specialized OER sites.
First of all, it is possible to find a lot of good OER via Google, especially through the Google Advanced Search function found here: http://www.google.com/advanced_search
This is what the Google Advanced Search page looks like. It includes numerous parameters for helping specify exactly the type of materials that you are seeking.
Towards the bottom of the Google Advanced Search page is a bar which allows you to specify the “usage rights” of the items you are looking for. This is crucial for finding OER, as opposed to simply “any” type of educational resource.
The “usage rights” bar in Google Advanced Search allows you to specify which type of license you want to limit your search to. While the first option (“not filtered by license”) will return a mix of results that are likely open and closed, the next options will limit the search results to only those items which have the appropriate “open” license.
These are the results for the search string “introduction to biology” as delimited by the last usage right option listed on the Google Advanced Search page, “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”. As is clear, the results tend to come from sites that are well-known for supporting openly licensed materials, such as Wikipedia and saylor.org.
The Creative Commons site (http://search.creativecommons.org/) provides a meta-portal through which you can search for openly licensed materials through various search engines, such as Google, Flickr and YouTube. The site is not a search engine, per se, but is a useful portal for accessing other sites in a way that ensures that all of the results are of only items that have a Creative Commons license on it. Thus, instead of going through the Google Advanced Search to find openly licensed materials, you can use the Creative Commons search portal and specify that it search for openly licensed materials via Google.
To search just for photos or images, the Google Advanced Image Search (http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search) provides useful delimiting options for not only finding specific items, but allows you to search only for openly licensed materials.
Towards the bottom of the Advanced Image Search page is the “usage rights” option that allows you to choose which kind license parameters you want Google to limit its results to.
These are the results that came up for the search of “fjords” when delimited by the usage right “free to use or share, even commercially.”
Similar to the note above about the Creative Commons search portal finding general items via a Google web search, you can also specify that CC only search through image/photo results such as those found through Flickr and Google Images.
These are the results for a search through the Creative Commons portal for the term “supernova”, but specified to search in Flickr. The results come up in Flickr as well, showing that all of the results bear a Creative Commons license on them.
These are the results of a Creative Commons search for “supernova” as well, but this time via Google Images. Thus, the CC portal takes you through to a Google images results page where it also makes clear that all of the images are “labelled for non-commercial reuse with modification”.
In addition to the broad search engine options discussed above, these websites are also good places to search for openly licensed photos, images, graphics, art, icons and vectors. See: Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Google Images: https://images.google.com/ Encyclopedia of Life: http://eol.org/ Open Images: http://www.openbeelden.nl/ AlegriPhotos: http://www.alegriphotos.com/ Pixabay: http://pixabay.com/en/ Picdrome: http://www.picdrome.com/ Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/ DryIcons: http://dryicons.com/ Europeana: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/ PLOS: http://www.plos.org/ Open Clip Art: https://openclipart.org/ Vecteezy: http://www.vecteezy.com/
The Creative Commons portal also allows you to search for openly licensed video content through YouTube.
Here are the results in YouTube for the search that I activated in the Creative Commons portal with the search string “lecture on freud”. It yielded more than 300 results of openly licensed videos relevant to the search. https://www.youtube.com/
In addition to YouTube, Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/) – which is not listed on the Creative Commons search portal – also offers a good platform for searching for openly licensed videos. Here is the page which discusses the various Creative Commons licenses for the videos hosted on the site, and which you can use to specify your search parameters within it.
In addition to finding videos via the CC portal, YouTube and Vimeo discussed above, these websites are also good places to search for openly licensed videos: TED Talks: http://www.ted.com/ Internet Archive: https://archive.org/index.php The Open Video Project: http://www.open-video.org/ Aljazeera CC Repository: https://archive.org/details/aljazeeramedia
For audio and music search for open content, it is best to simply go to audio-related websites such as the ones listed here to find free, openly licensed material. See: Jamendo: https://www.jamendo.com/en FreeSound: https://www.freesound.org/ CC Mixter: http://ccmixter.org/ Free Music Archive: http://freemusicarchive.org/ Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ Freeloops: http://www.freeloops.com/ Internet Archive: https://archive.org/index.php
While broad searches through Google, or more directed searches through some of the media sites mentioned above, can yield an impressive array of OER to consider, it is sometimes more expedient to simply go to a curated meta-site such as OER Commons to help you find materials that are all OER. OER Commons is a search engine that looks only at OER repositories around the world: https://www.oercommons.org/
If you look at the “browse” page of OER Commons, you can see the many subject areas covered and the types of teaching materials on offer, and browse through them in that fashion. The numbers in parentheses reveal how many items are located in each particular category.
In this example, I typed the term “accounting” in to the search function and OER Commons retrieved 1,350 items from the various repositories it searches.
Each item listed includes information about the material type of the OER (video lecture, lecture notes, syllabi, etc.), the subject area (Business, Social Sciences, etc.) the provider of the material (Khan Academy, Rice University, MIT, etc.), the provider set (Connexions, MIT OpenCourseWare, etc.), and the author/s of the materials. On the left hand side of the page there is also a set of filters that will allow you to narrow your results down to the most appropriate materials you need.
These are a handful of the OER repositories and directories that OER Commons searches through. For some educators, it will be more fruitful to simply go to a specialized repository like the ones listed here to explore their materials. See: OER Africa: http://www.oerafrica.org/ AMSER: https://amser.org/ SERC: http://serc.carleton.edu/index.html ReadWriteThink: http://www.readwritethink.org/ Peer to Peer University (P2PU): https://p2pu.org/en/ Saylor.org: http://www.saylor.org/ KlasCement: http://www.klascement.net/?hl=en
At the University of Cape Town, where I work, we have recently established the OpenUCT repository which includes both academic research outputs as well as teaching and learning materials. All UCT academics are encouraged to deposit their research and teaching materials on the site so as to share them openly with others and contribute to the open ethic we are hoping to inspire. OpenUCT: http://open.uct.ac.za/
When you search for materials on the site, you can determine whether you want to look at published research, teaching and learning materials, or both simultaneously.
When I choose just “teaching and learning” materials and search under the term “medicine”, OpenUCT returns 14 results.
As you scroll down the results, they are listed with the titles running across in the dark bars, with supplemental information below it. Sometimes there are preview images available, though in this example none were uploaded. But crucially, the relevant Creative Commons license for the material is listed to quickly let you know how you can use the materials yourself.
When we click on one of the results, this is the fuller description that comes up, along with the resource itself. In this case, it is a short video that has already been posted on YouTube, but which is embedded here for easy access.
Of course, UCT is not alone in sharing open educational resources. Indeed, numerous universities and organizations around the world have been providing content for free for years. It started with MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative more than a decade ago, and has been followed by many other education providers. The following a just a small list of organizations provided recorded lectures and video tutorials that are licensed for open use. See: Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/ MIT: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/audio-video-courses/ UC Berkeley: http://webcast.berkeley.edu/ Yale: http://oyc.yale.edu/ Open Culture: http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses iTunes U: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/itunes-u/id490217893?mt=8 Harvard on iTunes: http://www.harvard.edu/itunes Stanford on iTunes: https://itunes.stanford.edu/ Oxford on iTunes: http://www.ox.ac.uk/itunes-u
For repositories that provide open books or open textbooks, you can also see: Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ Open Culture: http://www.openculture.com/free_textbooks IntraText: http://www.intratext.com/ Siyavula: http://www.siyavula.com/ CK-12: http://www.ck12.org/ College Open Textbooks: http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org/ OpenStax College: http://openstaxcollege.org/ BC Campus Open Ed: http://open.bccampus.ca/
For educators’ PowerPoint presentations, which are often given in conference and workshop venues, see: SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/ SpeakerDeck: https://speakerdeck.com/ SlideSnack: http://www.slidesnack.com/ Author Stream: http://www.authorstream.com/share-presentations-online/
For sites offering open simulation and animation sources, see: Bitstrips: http://www.bitstrips.com/ XKCD: http://xkcd.com/ PhET: https://phet.colorado.edu/ Best Animations: http://bestanimations.com/
For sites offering open modular course components, see: Wikiversity: https://www.wikiversity.org/ Curriki: http://www.curriki.org/ Connexions: http://cnx.org/ Merlot: http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm WikiEducator: http://wikieducator.org/Main_Page Jorum: http://www.jorum.ac.uk/
For complete courses that are openly available, see: Open Learning Initiative: http://oli.cmu.edu/ OCW Search http://www.oeconsortium.org/courses/ MIT OpenCourseWare: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm The Open University Open Learn: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/ Open Course Library: http://opencourselibrary.org/ Saylor.org: http://www.saylor.org/
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
How and where to find Open Educational Resoures (OER)
How and Where to find
Open Educational Resources (OER)
University of South Africa (UNISA) : 18 March 2015
A little about me: Henry Trotter
Open Educational Resources
Research Capacity Building
Henry Trotter – firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Slides inspired by the presentations of Paul Stacey, Shihaam Shaikh and the
Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN).
See Paul Stacey’s OER presentations at: http://www.slideshare.net/pstacey
See Shihaam Shaikh’s “Finding Open Stuff” presentation at:
See also the “Find OER” site by the Open Professionals Education Network
How and Where to Find Open Educational Resources (OER) by
Henry Trotter is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International License.