28 responses to “Find an open online resource you can use”

  1. Marianna Kalaczynski

    The OER I located is “Library Carpentry.” It is a volunteer-run organization that focuses on building software and data skills within library and information-related communities, offering workshops and lesson materials by CC BY license, for self-directed study or for adaptation and re-use.
    As such, this OER is ready for immediate use. Some aspects of the lessons are still under development, but the ‘core’ lesions are readily accessible.
    This OER could easily be used to establish prerequisites for working with data, or as supplemental materials in addition to lesson plans. The lessons on this site could also be standalone, or be built upon by instructors whose courses could overlap with this material. Thus, Library Carpentry absolutely has the ability to be both a supplementary resource as well as a main base for instruction.

  2. Kelly Allison

    The OER I found was an interactive video helping social work students to document client visits and assessments. I teach a class called Social work practice with individuals and families and briefly cover documentation. This learning resource would be a helpful teaching students how to accurately document client statements.

  3. Pam

    1. The OER that I am reporting on here is an article from an OA teaching journal (I knew about the journal before, but had never taken the time to dive in and see if it offered anything that I could directly use). I discovered that the answer is ‘yes’ – here is a full lesson plan complete with materials to use and comments on how the class may go, what to be careful about and the rationale behind the ‘how to’s’.
    2. In a tutorial session dedicated to the topic, in person.
    3. Yes and no – it would displace an activity that we used to have pre-COVID, and become an excellent online substitute for it.

  4. Heather McTavish

    The OER I found was actually a full course – Introduction to Information Literacy. If I were to teach this subject in an Information Studies program, the availability of such a course online would prove helpful to see what others cover. I would use this as a starting place to develop my own course, keeping some modules while getting rid of some. While the focus seems to be a lot of information retrieval instead of information literacy as a body of knowledge, I would focus less on the technical skills and provide more of an emphasis on subjects like open access and scholarly communications, which are important to information literacy. However, since teaching students how to retrieve information from library databases and other sources remains a significant part of library instruction, I would keep certain course elements that focus more on the technical skills that the ACRL Framework identifies. Since it doesn’t appear to include readings, I would look to supplement some of the visual content with papers.

  5. Claire Swanson

    Because I do not teach any courses, I found an open textbook to replace the traditional textbook I was required to buy for an Economics 101 course. While supplanting a paid textbook with a free one may not take full advantage of OER and open pedagogy, I would have greatly appreciated not having to purchase a traditional textbook I would never use again following the class. The textbook is licensed using CC BY and is ready for reuse and potential adaptation.

  6. Janet

    The OER I found is “Using Social Media as a Research Tool to Explore Scientific Data.” I don’t teach, but I want to and know I likely will if I continue of a library-career track. This OER in particular is a module and how to use a specific web resource and integrate its use into an educational activity. I can see myself using this module to inform how I would want to approach a lesson plan for an information literacy workshop. It bridges the exact methodology I want to approach, in meeting students where they are by using tools that they already use in their everyday.

  7. Paula

    Maslow’s Hierarchy Framework https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

    This resource is licensed under Creative Commons and ready to use in a variety of ways in my work. It could be a stand-alone resource for some of the applications described below, or as an enhancement to a textbook in other situations.

    It can become a handy foundational reference for understanding Maslow’s hierarchy in my traditional and online pedagogy courses, human growth and development, psychology, and early childhood courses. I can also be used in my flipped group or individual mentoring/coaching sessions for teachers, instructors, mentors, coaches, and professors. The visuals are clear, accurate, and simple enough to use as a basis for games such as Quizlet, or Kahoot, or as a cut-out puzzle for kinesthetic learners. Additionally, auditory learners are offered a summary recording of the text.

  8. Maya Krol

    The OER that I found is part of the Pathways Project – OER Language Teaching Repository. It is a set of activities created voluntarily by students and instructors at Boise State. The activities present within this OER are primarily placed under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. All are ready for use, and the majority are also set up to be adjusted and reworked to meet the required language or proficiency needs. The OER would be best suited to complement a lesson, either as an in-person exercise post-lesson or as a homework assignment, so that students could reflect and apply what they learned. Dependent on the resources available to the class, the OER could easily replace the primary resource used for activities, although not the resource(s) used for grammar instruction.

  9. Crystal Wu

    I am not yet a librarian nor a teacher but I do plan on becoming a public librarian one day and I would like to develop a workshop/program for graphic design basics since I enjoyed taking courses on this subject in high school. The OER I found from the BCcampus Open Textbook Repository is the ‘Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals’. This textbook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. I would create a slideshow teaching the basic concepts of design from this textbook and assign readings from it as supplementary coursework.

  10. Reba Ouimet

    I am not currently in a teaching position, but when I previously taught as a librarian I was often asked to teach about citations and giving credit for academic work. The audience for this was international students hearing about APA or MLA for the first time. Often their instructors would require them to attend a library class. Due to this, I sought out materials that could supplement my sessions and easily work with an online environment.

    I used OASIS to search for APA citation materials and I found the APA Style Citation Tutorial created by Open Education Alberta (https://openeducationalberta.ca/introapatutorial7/front-matter/introduction/). This tutorial covered: why it is important to use citations, elements of common source types, and how to create reference and in-text citations based on the 7th edition APA guidelines. This is exactly what introducing students to APA should cover.

    I felt that this resource was essentially ready to use but it also had an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license that would allow for necessary changes. There were several embedded videos and other materials that could be updated for the specific institution/scenario, but the creators did a great job of providing active learning options and addressing accessibility (such as providing transcripts for embedded videos). It was also up to date with the newer edition of APA from 2019.

    In my case, this could either fully replace an in-person library session in the current online-only environment or it could be a supplementary material provided to students alongside an in person teaching session.

  11. Kyla Jemison

    Like Marianna mentioned above, I would use the Library Carpentries (and other Carpentries) curriculum in my teaching. I have actually done this, as I am a Carpentries instructor, but we had to make some adaptations in the workshops I taught because the curriculum is designed to be taught in person and at that time (and now), we could only teach online. We used Discord as our lesson platform for the online course, but I’m now wondering if there is a more open platform that could enable students to share their questions and observations about their learning in a more open way.

    One of the things I like best about Carpentries is that it is fundamentally, intentionally adaptable, and that the organization actively encourages adaptation; one of the qualifying activities to become an instructor requires you to contribute a change in the curriculum through GitHub, and I have submitted other changes in response to things I learned while teaching.

  12. Jennifer Ma

    I selected an video on Wikimeida Commons, licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). It is ready to use and easy to adapt. I do not teach a course, but would like to share it with the place I do volunteer as ongoing virtual support.

  13. Nalissa

    I found a ready to use OER-“University 101: Study, Strategize, and Succeed” on the BCcampus Open Textbook Repository. I teach classes on academic research techniques for secondary school students who intend on pursuing tertiary education. The textbook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This resource would be recommended reading for students and I would also incorporate information from the book during my instructions sessions. I would also share the resource with other instruction specialists that instruct at my institution.

  14. David Gill

    As a librarian, I am sometimes asked to come to a class and teach a workshop about plagarism and finding sources in the library. I found a really great resource that is licenced under CC BY-NC 4.0 and link can be found here https://www.oercommons.org/courseware/lesson/13489/overview The resource contains a powerpoint about plagarism, assingment description, and an activity.

    Before using this activity, I would have to negotiate with the professor so that assingment could be intergrated into the course outline and determine who would mark the assingment. For the resource, I would have to modify the audience and the content because it is directed to graduate students in America and I teach first year students in Canada.

    If I were to use this resource in a workshop, it would displace my current practice.

  15. Vanessa Chan

    I’m not currently teaching any courses, but I am about to take some classes for teaching English as a second/foreign language, and I wanted to explore the BCCampus open textbooks, so here we are; I found this textbook meant for beginning adult learners: https://opentextbc.ca/abealf1/chapter/sweetgrass/

    I like this resource because it lays out how concepts will be introduced, highlights key takeaways from the lesson, and has interactive activities that are practical and have visual input. Many of these can be easily transferred to a worksheet or slide format to make into a workbook or class activity. Having written and audio versions of the text is also helpful in making the lesson flexible for both reading comprehension practice and listening comprehension practice. A really handy resource overall!

    I think if I taught at all, these stories are self-explanatory enough to make them homework as a preview for concepts covered in class with a harder story.

  16. Lisa

    The OER I chose was from the BCcampus Open Textbook Repository (which I love BTW!). It’s a digital book, reviewed and adopted, by Tony Bates titled ‘Teaching in a Digital Age – Second Edition’. I recently included chapters from this text for a course proposal. I likely wouldn’t use the text as a whole, but the flexibility of being able to use chapters as needed at no cost certainly helps to create a more inclusive course reading list. In my mind, an open reviewed text replaces a currently paid resource hands down.

  17. Pam

    I have spent a significant amount of time exploring the “Phet” simulations that I found through OASIS. Some of them are more appropriate than others for the courses that I teach, but all of them are, I think, excellent! There is one in particular that I would like to use in future: https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/cheerpj/optical-tweezers/latest/optical-tweezers.html?simulation=stretching-dna
    I think it will be very helpful in the context of one of the laboratory activities we do (or, used to do in pre-COVID times).
    This particular resource is fully ready to use and I could use as it is, with no modifications required, in the introduction section of one of the lab sessions on DNA purification and electrophoresis. It would not displace any OER, but rather substitute my clumsy explanations and insufficient, static drawings on the whiteboard! For other Phet simulations, however, I may have to add specific instructions or questions to the associated activity in order to “make it work” in a course I teach.

  18. Pam

    Another excellent OER that I found is this simulation/visual representing genetic drift: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Random_sampling_genetic_drift.gif I cannot wait to use it in my first year class within the population genetics module; it is ready to use and will supplement the static diagrams and written explanations really well.

  19. Erin Calhoun

    I found the open textbook “Histories of Indigenous Peoples and Canada” on the BCcampus OpenEd space. While I am currently not teaching any courses or materials, I am studying the use of educational literatures in Indigenous studies, and found this resource to be an interesting way to frame new voices and perspectives. After assessing the usefulness of the work to my interest, I searched for the Creative Commons license, which was CC BY 4.0 — meaning that I can adapt and share the work in potential teaching or studying. I was really pleased to also see that the page had links where people could signal that they were adopting or adapting the work, as well as a link for the original source of the work. I think this could be a really helpful resource that can replace many current Canadian history works in public schools — which often resolve to using these outdated works due to budgetary issues as it is expensive to buy an entire grade a new set of textbooks.

  20. Marie Song

    The OER I found was a textbook, English Literature: Victorians and Moderns by Dr. James Sexton, an anthology of Victorian and Modern literature with accompanying research casebooks with essays from open access journals and books. Buying multiple books for English classes can be expensive, though it is helpful for the entire class to use the same text to make referencing and discussion easier. The textbooks is licensed under a CC BY license, making it easy to use and adapt to the needs of various courses. Depending on the scope of the course, this textbook could supplement other readings or be the basis for the entire course.

  21. Alyssandra Maglanque

    While I am still a student myself, I have an interest in information literacy and supporting people’s ability to critically assess sources of information they come across online. As such, I looked for a resource that could help me in creating a course or series of learning modules based around teaching and supporting information literacy online. I managed to find the guide “Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers” by Michael A. Caulfield which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This OER seems to be ready for use, and has the option for editing through the provided XML file. I can likely use this throughout the course, but I would prefer to use it as a supplementary resource rather than make it a “textbook”. Learning information/digital literacy is something that may be best done through hands-on activities in order to show students how to employ the fact-checking and assessment strategies that are discussed in the book in real life situations.

    (Link to Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers: https://open.bccampus.ca/browse-our-collection/find-open-textbooks/?uuid=ccbb4e77-b20f-4dec-8a9f-67ccc9bc774b&contributor=&keyword=&subject=)

  22. Permjit Buadhwal Mann


    I looked up Paleontology for Graduates in OER Commons.

    This led me to a curated collection of PLOS articles. It aggregated articles that provided broad-based knowledge for graduate students in this field. Graduate students in this field need access such articles as they provide the foundation for their work. They can use these as a reference when doing their research and often they are especially important to placing fossils into a geological period or for comparison of fossil structures (bones). The readings are ready to use as they are already published and reviewed (PLOS is peer-reviewed).
    The collection does not displace other resources but supplements them, as students are free to find other sources to support them.
    It does reduce the workload of searching for items in other databases for the student. However, not all relevant articles may be published in PLOS. There are many other geological/paleontological journals, that the student may need to access to get specific information related to their research topic. But these journal are also usually only accessible via an institution.

    The collection can be used by graduate students provides them with open access sources to support their work.
    This repository provides them with an option to share their papers after publication in PLOS One, and Open Access journal.

    There was only one issue that I found problematic with this collection and that was one could not search within it. I had to use control F function to search for an article on specific topic. For instance, if I wanted an article on a particular species, geological period or publication date, I would have to use control F.
    Also there is no way to do an Advanced Search 🙁

  23. Kaushar

    The OER resource I found was a set of “Information Visualization Tutorials” from OER Commons. The OER is ready for use for those with a basic understanding of programming and stats. There are videos as well as tutorials that come with Jupyter notebooks. The tutorials do require certain packages, including Pandas and Altair if students choose to follow along. This OER would be particularly useful for guiding lectures or providing supplementary information to students for an introductory data visualization class. It could serve as a complete resource or be a supplementary aid for students wanting additional references.

  24. Jessica B. Srivastava

    I searched the Oasis database and found “The Writing Skills Lab” (https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-writingskillslab/) which was developed by faculty at the University of Mississippi. The lab is very detailed and covers all areas of writing that could possibly be needed for teaching academic writing. It is designed specifically to focus on areas that are problematic for students. It is broken down into small modules focusing on one issue, for example, building vocabular and also provides the student will the chance to practice and receive targeted feedback. It was designed so students could work through the course independently or an instructor could assign or use sections in class. It is a combination of remix and new materials.

    This OER is ready for use as is but I think, it would probably be more beneficial in my class to use it to provide extra exercises or textual material and also as in class exercises. As this is a course in itself, I could use it throughout my academic writing course. Currently, the course does not have a resource and certainly this could be used but I am not in a position to make that decision. I personally would use it as a supplementary resource.

  25. Monica Henderson

    I used the Mason OER Metafinder to locate an OER for youth data literacy, and found this! http://www.youthdataliteracy.info/

    I am an RA for a project concerning youth digital rights and data literacy so this is a perfect site for analysis but also a great model for how we might synthesize and publish our research as an OER ourselves. I don’t know if it is quite ready to use in a course or activity as it is mostly a landing page for a research project, but I can imagine that if it were further developed, data literacy toolkits could be embedded to share across media literacy curricula.

  26. Greg Hutton

    There are a wide variety of Information Literacy resources available from the OER Commons. These resources could very easily be adapted into my own IL teaching, and working through them from the student’s perspective may also give me insight into how I can tailor my approach to maximize the effectiveness of the limited amount of time I general have to speak with classes.

  27. Ksenia Cheinman

    I am planning to create a Pressbook on Creating Open Educational Resources in Government. To practice what we preach, I’ve started sourcing resources I can integrate, use and adapt from other OERs. For example:


    To give a concrete example of how I will be reusing something in practice: My organization is going to be launching an open educational resource repository for the Government of Canada. In it, one of the metadata fields asks contributors how accessible their content is. Following the industry standards, some of the controlled vocabulary options include WCAG criteria, but we know that accessibility literacy across the public sector is still quite low. So to nudge folks to reflect on whether their OERs are accessible at all, we are adopting one metadata field that asks whether a resource is accessible based on the Accessibility checklist criteria which currently links to a resource from an existing OER guide https://pressbooks.uiowa.edu/oer-guide/chapter/checklist-for-accessibility/

    Metadata options look like this:

    What accessibility levels does your resource meet?
    ● Accessible based on Accessible checklist criteria
    ● WCAG 2.0 A
    ● WCAG 2.0 AA
    ● WCAG 2.0 AAA
    ● WCAG 2.1 A
    ● WCAG 2.1 AA
    ● WCAG 2.1 AAA
    ● WCAG 2.2 A
    ● WCAG 2.2 AA
    ● WCAG 2.2 AAA
    ● Not accessible
    ● Unknown

    In the future, we hope to adapt this list and to expand it to include some other elements that are currently missing. But the current resource already provides us with a great starting point that helps educate and empower creators to know that their resource meets some accessibility requirements.

  28. Claire Swanson

    I found an open lesson plan titled “Who’s an Authority? Recognizing Scholarly Sources in the Library.” This could be used as a starting point for an information literacy class on conducting research. I might adapt this resource to include more content that considers different types of authority (e.g. lived experience, professional experience, academic “expert”) because information literacy courses (and academia in general) tend to cover only the latter two examples.

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