Open Range Wyoming is a statewide repository of openly-licensed educational resources to support Wyoming school districts and educators as they make the transition to the use of high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources in their schools.
Open Range Wyoming has officially launched!
If you would like additional information about Open Educational Resources, click here to access a FREE Canvas course.
One of the most popular definitions of OER, shared by the Hewlett Foundation, states that: “OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”
Open Educational Resources, or OER, refer to any teaching and learning materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license, such as a Creative Commons License. This allows for no cost access, use, adaption and redistribution (see the “5Rs of OER” tab) with limited or no restrictions.
OER can be full courses, learning objects, tests or any other tools, materials, or techniques for use in teaching, learning, and research.
- OERs are “open” and “free” to use, in some cases decreasing expenses as they replace traditional textbooks
- OERs are available online, providing a wider range of access to students and teachers who may be more remote
- The digital nature of OERs means shorter update and dissemination cycles, keeping better pace with new information
- OERs can enhance traditional classroom resources, providing differentiated and/or directed study
- Diverse sources of OER help expand access to information that may not be available locally
- OER promote social responsibility, providing access to information for everyone, everywhere!
CCSSO Report/Article- State of the States: Open Educational Resources in K-12 Education
Office Education Technology- Why use Open Educational Resources
The “5Rs” is a framework that encourages educators to capitalize on the unique rights associated with open content. These rights include the ability to:
- Retain: Make and own copies of the work (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
- Reuse: Use the work in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
- Revise: Adapt, modify and translate the work (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- Remix: combine it with another resource to make a new work (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
- Redistribute: Share the work with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
These rights, or permissions, are made possible through open licensing. For example, Creative Commons open licenses help creators of OER retain copyright while allowing others to reproduce, distribute, and legally use their work.
Attribution: The 5Rs of OER is a derivative of the 5 R permissions of OER by Lumen Learning licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Creative Commons helps consumers and creators of media break through the traditional barriers of traditional, all rights reserved copyright. Creators determine the rights they want to allow and use the CC formula to let other’s know what they’ll allow.
- Encourages using, mixing, and reusing materials
- Clearly articulates usage without having to contact the creator
- Provides easy to follow guidelines of acceptable use through free copyright licenses
- Easy to follow symbols to determine usage rights
- CC = Creative Commons
- BY = Attribution
- SA = Share Alike
- NC = Non-Commercial
- ND = No Derivatives
- Rights can be combined to create a license
- BY-SA = Attribution, Share Alike
- BY-NC = Attribution, Non-Commercial
- BY-NC-ND = Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives
This section includes information to help find, evaluate, adapt, and share open educational resources to meet learning outcomes and objectives. It also offers information on how to describe and organize OER to enable its discovery by future users.
Tips for getting started with curation
Consider collaborating with others- With the shared aim of meeting students learning outcomes, educators can work together on constructing searches and evaluating OER for the course needs.
Conduct your searches in recognized repositories- Search recognized OER repositories and aggregated content collections to explore what already exists. A list of commonly used OER repositories are provided within this section.
Become familiar with open licensing- Use the resources provided in the Licensing Module below.
Determine your evaluation criteria- Criteria should incorporate learning objectives and outcomes, content quality, rigor, and even format. See the evaluation rubrics offered in this section.
There are a multitude of OER out there to choose from, including open textbooks, courses, multimedia resources, and data. These can be found by searching regular search engives (like Google), but it is much easier to find them through a dedicated OER Repository or libraries. For Wyoming educators, the first stop should be the Wyoming OER Commons Hub, Open Range Wyoming, where items can be aligned to Wyoming standards or are already aligned to Wyoming standards. Other popular OER repositories that also could be considered are shown below.
The best OER Evaluation rubrics include traditional evaluative criteria that address a resource’s editorial quality. They also include criteria that address resource portability, and resource effectiveness in engaging learners. Below is a sampling or rubrics that are recommended for use in evaluating OER.
The WDE Evaluation Rubric-developed by a team at the WDE, this rubric is encouraged to be used to determine if a resource is high quality.
Comprehensive OER Evaluation Tool– Use or adapt this OER Evaluation Tool, which was originally created by Achieve, Inc. Achieve is a US-based education nonprofit, and a leader in the development of OER evaluation rubrics. The tool is comprised of eight rubrics for assessing OER-ranging from how well the resource is aligned to learning outcomes, to the degree to which the resource meets local accessibility standards.
Accessibility Checklist– When creating resources it is important that institutions provide all resources in an accessible format. There are no specific guidelines for what is accessible-other than it must meet the need of the student requesting the accessible format. However, as educators, we have ethical obligations to ensure that courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities. Unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, instructional resources can erect barriers that make learning difficult or impossible. Use the materials to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners.
Adopt or Adapt
An OER resource that is curated can be used “as is” or it can be revised or remixed. If changes or additions are made to a resource based on evaluation results, one option is to use the OER commons tools listed below. Also, members of the Open Range Wyoming hub have the option to align any resources found to Wyoming State Content and Performance Standards.
Organize and Share
There are many ways to share OER. Resources can be forwarded to colleagues via email, shared withing a local learning management system (LMS) or shared via online sites specifically designed to accommodate OER.
The OER Commons library offers multiple interfaces for users to select from lists of recommended descriptors, as well as to create customized taxonomies for describing and organizing OER into personal or shared collections around specific topics, subject areas, or courses.
On Open Range Wyoming there are two primary places that have organized collections
- The first set is the Wyoming OER Collection which is sorted by content areas and created with the help of Wyoming teachers who have expertise in these content areas. Teachers help find, adopt, adapt, tag and align resources to Wyoming State Content and Performance Standards for easy searching. As we continue to work with Wyoming teachers more of these collections are being created and existing ones will grow in content.
- The second collection area is comprised of resources curated from all of OER Commons. These collections have specifically been selected for inclusion to the Wyoming hub because of their high quality. Over time, these collections will also be vetted and aligned by Wyoming teachers and included within the Wyoming OER collection materials. In the meantime, they are easily searchable by keyword, subject areas and content.
You might be interested in creating your own OER if the content you need doesn’t already exist. OER you create can take the form of lesson plans, syllabi, videos, websites, guides, textbooks, and more.
Why Create OER?
- Assures academic freedom to add content to your specifications
- Extends your academic profile
- Provides more relevant and engaging materials for students
- Can be regularly updated
- Reduces costs for districts and students
Attribution: Text is a derivative of BCOER Poster, by BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0
Design Tips to Create Sharable and Reusable OER
- Start with what’s there
- Look to existing collections with quality resources such as Open Range Wyoming. Also consider materials that you’ve created, which may be available offline and could be included within the hub
- Make it accessible
- It is important to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners. Note that it is more work to make existing OER accessible than it is to create an accessible OER from the start. View the accessibility checklist to guide your work.
- Make it adaptable
- The more modular your content is, the easier it is for future users to reuse it. When working on a course unit, separate your content by weekly and daily lessons. If possible, provide a version of your resource in an editable format, such as .docx or Google Docs.
- Make it open
- Select and clearly display the Creative Commons license for the resource. Integrate only open materials into your resource. See the Licensing information below for information on choosing an open license.
- Invite critique
- Evaluate the resource using rubrics as discussed above. Ask peers to review the resource using the evaluation rubrics. OER development is an iterative process, so try to revisit your OER on a regular update cycle.
Quality Assurance Guidelines for OER: TIPS Framework, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia
Creating and Modifying Open Educational Resources, Affordable Learning Georgia
Combining Licenses when Creating
In the video below, Michelle develops a chapter on metabolism for an open textbook. She uses her teaching notes for the text of the chapter, and finds openly licensed images and exercises to accompany the text. She also determines which Creative Commons license to assign to her finished chapter before sharing it.
Video Transcript: Creating_OER_and_Combining_Licenses_Part_1
Providing Accessible Resources
When creating resources it is important that institutions provide all resources in an accessible format. There are no specific guidelines for what is accessible-other than it must meet the need of the student requesting the accessible format. However, as educators, we have an ethical obligation to ensure that courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities.
Unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, instructional resources can erect barriers that make learning difficult or impossible. Use the materials below to ensure that the resources you create are accessible to all learners.
You can download the checklist in the following formats:
Authoring Content in OER Commons
Three ways to create re-mixable content to be hosted on OER Commons.
- Resource Builder: Create media-rich resource that can be aligned to Wyoming State Content and Performance Standards.
- Lesson Builder: Use the lesson builder template to create a lesson with different student and teacher facing views. Designed for elementary and secondary levels. Lessons can be aligned to Wyoming State Content and Performance Standards.
- Module Builder: Use the module builder template to create a module with different student and teacher facing views. Designed for post-secondary education or professional learning. Wyoming State Content and Performance Standards are not available.
Open Educational Resources (OER) is based on a set of permissions that enable the use and modification of educational content. In this section, one will gain knowledge about the shift from traditional copyright to open licenses, and how to apply open licenses to works created, remixed, and shared. Local educational service units can also provide support on issues related to licensing and copyright.
What is copyright
Copyright is a form of legal protection that affords the copyright owner the exclusive rights to, among other things:
- Reproduce (copy)
- Publicly perform
- Publicly display
- Create “derivative works” (e.g., translations, revisions, other modifications)
Without permission from the copyright owner, or an applicable exception such as fair use under the Copyright Act, it is a violation of copyright law to exercise any of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights.
What is a copyright license?
A copyright license is a grant of permission to use certain copyright rights. Copyright licenses often have specific limitations that are outlined. For example, they may:
- Be limited in time
- Contain geographical restrictions
- Only allow for educational uses
- Only grant permission to use some of the copyright rights (for example, a license may grant permission to download and distribute a work, but not the right to create derivative works)
Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses. Many works in the Nebraska OER hub are Creative Commons licensed. There are six main Creative Commons licenses. All require that any uses include attribution to the original author; some permit only noncommercial uses; some do not allow the creation of derivative works. When evaluating the permitted scope of uses, read all copyright licenses closely. Using a work in a manner that exceeds the scope of permissions granted in a license is copyright infringement. When licensing new work or remixed work that is shared on the Nebraska’s OER Commons hub, it is recommended to license the work as either “Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike,” which is universally noted as “CC BY-NC-SA” or “Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives,” which is universally noted as “CC BY-NC-ND.”
National and Local Copyright Policy
Under the Copyright Act of The United States, the author of the work is generally the owner of the copyright. However, if a work is created within the scope of the author’s employment, the employer holds the copyright unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
Check your school district’s copyright policies and intellectual property policies. Collective agreements or employment contracts can also affect copyright ownership. Contact your administration if you need more information, since they may be able to direct you to relevant policies and contacts. See the sample OER Policy in the next section drafted by KSB School Law.
Works in the Public Domain are released from copyright protection, due to expiration of their copyright or by designation by the copyright holder. Also, some works automatically enter the public domain upon creation, because they are not copyrightable. For example, book titles, short phrases and slogans, ideas and facts, processes and systems, and certain government documents. Public Domain content may be used in any way by anyone.
Linking to Copyrighted Materials
It is not a violation of copyright to link to copyrighted material, nor is it necessary to obtain permission from the copyright holder to, for example, link to a YouTube video in a presentation.
The Fair Use Doctrine
Fair use is a limitation on a copyright owner’s exclusive rights, set forth in the Copyright Act. See 17 U.S.C. §107. If a use is a legitimate fair use, permission from the copyright owner is not needed.
It can be difficult to determine whether a given use is a fair use. Fair use evaluations are highly fact-specific, and depend greatly on the facts of your particular situation. Claiming fair use involves risks, and fair use law can be very complex. Exercising fair use is a right, not an obligation. In evaluating whether a given use is a fair use, the Copyright Act sets forth the following factors:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Follow this simplified list to determine the use permissions of the resources that you find online:
- Look carefully at the resource you want to use and any information surrounding the resource to identify licensing information.
- If you cannot find a symbol or statement of the license or the permissions for use, the copyright owner is probably retaining all of their exclusive rights.
Use the guidelines below to identify whether you need to seek permission from the copyright holder when repurposing existing materials as OER. You may also contact your educational service unit for help on determining whether your intended use falls within a copyright exception or license, or whether permission is required.
- You DO NOT need to ask permission if:
- Your intended use falls within a copyright exception or limitation (such as fair use).
- The way that you want to use the resource is in compliance with the terms of a copyright license that applies to you (i.e., you already have permission in this case).
- You DO need to ask permission if:
- You wish to use a resource that is protected by copyright, and your intended use would be infringing copyright law.
- You wish to use a resource in a way that is beyond the scope of the permission granted to users in an applicable copyright license.
- You should consider asking for permission if:
- You are uncertain about whether your intended use is permitted by an applicable copyright license.
- You are uncertain about whether a work is protected by copyright.
- You are uncertain about whether your intended use falls within a copyright exception or limitation (such as fair use).
Attribution: Text is a derivative of Permissions Guide for Educators, by ISKME licensed under CC BY, 4.0.
For OER, the most widely used open licenses are the Creative Commons (CC) licenses, which makes it possible for educators to freely and legally share their work. Creative Commons licenses work with copyright to automatically give users a set of usage rights pertaining to that work. When something is licensed with a Creative Commons license, users know how they are allowed to use it. Since the copyright holder retains copyright, the user may still seek the creator’s permission when they want to reuse the work in a way not permitted by the license.
These are the four Creative Commons licensing elements for consideration that are combined into six possible licenses.
Attribution (BY) As a creator of OER, you can choose the conditions of reuse and modification by selecting one or more of the restrictions listed below: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.
Non-commercial (NC) You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.
Share Alike (SA) You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.
No Derivative Works (ND) You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
Attribution: Text a derivative of definitions provided in A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources, by Commonwealth of Learning, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Creative Commons Licensing Considerations
- Remember the license may not be revoked. Once you apply a CC license to your material, anyone who receives it may rely on that license for as long as the material is protected by copyright and similar rights, even if you later stop distributing it.
Type of material:
- Make sure the material is appropriate for CC licensing. CC licenses are appropriate for all types of content you want to share publicly, except software and hardware.
- Specify precisely what it is you are licensing. Any given work has multiple elements; e.g., text, images, music. Make sure to clearly mark or indicate in a notice which of those are covered by the license.
Nature and adequacy of rights:
- Make sure the material is subject to copyright or similar rights. CC licenses are operative only where copyright or other rights closely related to copyright come into play. They should not be applied to material in the public domain.
- Seek permission. If the material includes rights held by others, make sure to get permission to sub-license those rights under the CC license. If you created the material in the scope of your employment or as a work-for-hire, you may not be the holder of the rights and may need to get permission before applying a CC license.
- Indicate rights not covered by the license. Prominently mark or indicate in a notice any rights held by third parties, such as publicity or trademark rights. This includes any content you used under exceptions or limitations to copyright, and any third party content used under another license (even if it is the same CC license as you applied).
Type of license:
- Think about how you want the material to be used. Consider what you hope to achieve by sharing your work when determining which of the six CC licenses to apply.
- Consider any obligations that may affect what type of license you apply. Think about any obligations you have, such as licensing requirements from a funding source, employment agreement, or limitations on your ability to use a CC license.
- You can use the Creative Commons online tool which will help guide you through choosing a license by answering simple questions related to the resource you would like to license.
Through open licensing, OER opens up possibilities for new, more collaborative teaching and learning practices—because the materials can be used, adapted and shared within and across learning communities. This module explores Open Pedagogy—collaborative teaching and learning practices that help educators to advance a culture of sharing and active learning through OER. The module also suggests ways that educators can work with library staff to further their practice of Open Pedagogy.
What is Open Pedagogy?
Open Pedagogy refers to collaborative teaching and learning practices that help educators to advance a culture of sharing and active learning through OER.
Below is a framework for Open Pedagogy, proposed by Bronwyn Hegarty. Developing “openness” can be challenging. For example, educators may be uncomfortable sharing their work or inviting peer review in open platforms. Open Pedagogy does require a change in mindset to develop openness and work in a specific way; however, most educators already collaborate and share, and the attributes listed below are about extending that current practice.
- Bronwyn Hegarty’s Eight Attributes of Open Pedagogy, Podcast Transcript, from the Alberta Open Educational Resources Initiative, licensed under CC BY SA
- What is Open Pedagogy Wikieducator, licensed CC BY SA
It matters because:
- It supports students in developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
- It enables educators to expand their academic competencies, and create more collaborative, engaging learning experiences for students.
- Overall, it helps to democratize teaching and learning.
Here are some ways that faculty can benefit from other staff expertise in the implementation of Open Pedagogy.
- Peer Review: Find staff who have expertise in digital accessibility and information literacy (often the school librarian). They can review and help align your OER to accessibility requirements and information literacy learning outcomes/objectives.
- Resource Sharing: Find staff who know metadata, licensing, and how to best organize digital materials to enable the widespread sharing of the OER that you create (often the school librarian or technical support personnel).
- Participatory Technologies: Find staff who have experience with authoring and publishing platforms, and with Web 2.0. They can guide you; on the use of these technologies, toward the design of course projects, and content that engage students around OER (often librarians or other teachers with OER experience).
- Connected Community: As representatives of your district, all staff can help explore new channels (perhaps other school districts) and approaches to OER outreach and community building. They can also serve as potential partners on presentations and training that inspire others to participate in OER.
Below is a list of resources that will help you get started in Open Pedagogy.
Open Educational Practice Rubric: Adaptable professional learning rubric from ISKME, which is intended to guide educators as they incorporate OER into their practice.
Instructor Basics: How to Use Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool: Simple guide from Wikimedia Foundation on how to use Wikipedia as part of student assignments (Sample of Open Pedagogy Lesson)
OER Academy: Open Educational Practice for Curriculum Improvement: Part of a series of Modules to teach more about OER provided by ISKME within the OER Commons Hub. You will need to be logged into your free Nebraska OER Commons account to access the resource.
The OER Rockstar Program is a nine-month professional development program to empower teachers with the knowledge, skills, and connections to lead successful open education initiatives that will benefit students for years to come.
The 2019-2020 program just launch with 25 educators throughout the state of Wyoming working on creating OER content, aligning OER content to Wyoming standards, and evaluating OER on the Open Range Wyoming Hub.
If you think you might be interested in becoming a OER rockstar contact Dustin Brown for more information.