If you want to share your learning materials openly, take this into account when developing the learning materials. Below you will find tips from experienced experts and from literature about how to develop open educational resources that are optimally suited for re-use.

Subject-specific and professional quality

  • Explain one specific concept per learning material. Avoid repetition and make sure that this concept stands on its own. Divide it into separate parts and also indicate the connection between these separate parts in a lecturer’s/teacher’s manual. In the explanation, also indicate where the material fits in the curriculum. 
  • The material does not require knowledge of other sources unless it is clearly stated what the prior knowledge should be.
  • Use as many time-independent examples as possible.
  • Make demonstrable use (via source references) of the most recent visions, theories, literature, guidelines, standards, etc. accepted by the Dutch field of work. 
  • Define terms used as much as possible in the learning material itself, or reference accessible sources in which these terms are defined. In the case of audio or video material, you can add definitions in a separate file or website, if these are not explained in the original file.
  • Make the integration and relationship of the material with the educational profile, field of work and/or subject area clear in the learning material and in the metadata.

Open quality

  • Neutral
    • Do not mention any education-specific details, such as data, details of lesson, name of a subject to which it belongs, etc. 
    • Make sure the material is free of advertising.
  • Branding
    • Use a neutral project logo or logos that can easily be modified/removed. Consider not using a logo at all. 
  • Form
    • Ensure that it has an attractive layout, for example through different representations of the material (e.g. text, images and film).
    • Place commands at the end of a video so that they are easy to cut out.
    • At the end of the video, place the contact details of the creators in the credits.
    • Aim for the most reliable links possible (durable).
  • Accessibility
    • Make sure that the material complies with the W3C Accessibility standard for web: WCAG2 (clearly legible: font type, font size and colour contrast).
  • Formats
    • Use standard formats that can be viewed with common viewers and players.
  • Language
    • Do not use jargon and unclear abbreviations.
    • Make a conscious choice to use formal or informal language.
    • Make sure the language is clear and correct.
    • Develop learning materials in Dutch or English.

Didactic educational use

  • Make sure that the learning material is in line with the learning objectives and/or key concepts from the educational profile or subject area. Mention this in the learning material and the metadata.
  • Make a lecturer’s manual with information and tips on how to use the learning materials.
  • Provide variation in working methods, so that you can connect with the student. Make the forms of work motivational and interactive.


  • Provide your material with an open licence. This licence sets out the conditions for re-use. You can license your own work using the Creative Commons roadmap.
  • Check for copyrighted elements. It is important to check whether the material you want to share is copyright-free. If copyrighted material has been used, it might not be possible to share the material openly. Tip: Saxion Library will be happy to help.
  • Make sure that the material contains only images of people who have given permission for public online publication and re-use (portrait right).
  • Make sure that information about the source material is easily and correctly retrieved in the learning material or in the metadata.
  • Make sure that there are no personal characteristics in your learning materials (GDPR). Tip: check with your privacy officer to make sure you comply with the GDPR legislation.

This text is a derivative of Developing learning materials for re-use of Introduction to open educational resources provided by SURF SIG Open Education with a CC BY 4.0 licence.