Do you have your own learning materials that you’re proud of? Add them to a repository for open educational resources. You’ll be contributing to the education of students and of other lecturers. By sharing learning material across a broad spectrum, not only students within your subject area, but also other lecturers and students can profit from your knowledge and the material you have developed: you get recognition for your work, you’ll be contributing to the education of fellow lecturers, students (and lecturers) have more freedom of choice and it will be good for your organisation’s standing.

Make sure that your material is reusable (see also the page Develop), with the right formats and rights, and can be found by other lecturers or students. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: formats

Make sure that the material you share is easy for others to use, for example, by offering it in an adaptable format. This ensures that other lecturers can choose how to re-use and possibly integrate it. Also think about whether the material can be viewed on a regular PC, Mac, tablet or phone.

For a publication in PDF format, it is useful to also make the texts available in .txt format, so that someone who wants to re-use them, can easily include them in his or her own text. The formats that you will be able to offer depend on the repository you use. Tip: put multiple formats in a zip file and upload it in one record in your repository. This way, everyone can decide for themselves which format they wish to use.

Step 2: release copyright

In order to ensure that others can use your learning material, it has to be made freely available through the Internet, and the material has to be given an open licence. Frequently used licences are those of Creative Commons. You can use the Creative Commons License Chooser to license your work.

A few tips:

  • Choose ShareAlike, because then your work will remain available for the whole world once you have adapted it.
  • It is better not to opt for NoDerivatives because then your work cannot be adapted and appropriated.

Step 3: check the quality

If you are going to open up your learning materials to the world, you want them to be flawless and to meet the requirements that an institution or professional community demands. Ideally, you should assess the quality of the materials with like-minded people, for example by means of a peer review system or a quality model. Use a quality model for yourself to gain trust in the quality of your own materials that you publish in a repository.

Step 4: publish

Publishing is done in a repository, such as the Dutch Wikiwijs or SURFsharekit. Fill in all the metadata fields, so you can be sure that the material is easy to find. Also add the lecturer’s manual and other formats, so that it is optimally reusable. Tip: ask Saxion Library to help you licence your material and make it available.

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