Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Lamson Library


Today's hours:  
(more hours)

Copyright | OER: Create OER

USNH Academic Technology Institute

In 2011, the USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee founded the annual Academic Technology Institute (ATI) as a way to bring faculty together to explore pedagogy and tools as well as new thinking around using technology in the classroom, recently with a strong emphasis on OER.  

Each of the 4 institutions (GSC, KSC, PSU, UNH) selects 10-15 faculty from diverse disciplines to participate in this multi-day event.  If you are interested in pursuing an OER-related project whether adopting an OER, creating an OER, or implementing open pedagogical practices, consider applying for this event.  PSU faculty should watch for the call for applications in February for the event taking place in late May or early June.

View resources from past ATI events.

Where to put OER

Planning on creating an OER yourself?  Consider these 4 angles:

  • Which open license is right for you? 

Visit the Creative Commons tab of this guide to learn about some of your options and how to apply the licenses.

  • How will people discover your OER? 

A file sitting on your computer isn't very useful; to maximize the visibility of your OER, you must find a platform to host it.  PSU faculty may put their OER in the OER Collection in Summit Institutional Repository @ PSU (contact Christin Wixson for more information,) but many other platforms exist.  Why not choose more than one?

  • How easy will it be for others to revise and remix your OER? 

Consider the ALMS framework (described below) in order to make sure that you choose formats that can be edited by others.

  • If involving students in the creation of your OER, how best to respect their rights and privacy? 

Let students decide.  Offer students a choice of whether to openly license their work for inclusion in the OER and don't penalize students who opt out.  Consider alternative ways for students to fulfill course requirements.

Allow pseudonyms.  Some students have valid reasons for wanting to avoid leaving a digital footprint.

Inform students of their copyrights.  Librarian Christin Wixson is available to drop into classes to support student understanding of copyright and OER.

ALMS Framework

Content in this box is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under CC BY 4.0.

Poor technical choices make open content less open.  Consider the ALMS framework when designing your own OER:

  • Access to Editing Tools: Is the open content published in a format that can only be revised or remixed using tools that are extremely expensive (e.g., 3DS MAX)?  Is the open content published in a format that can be revised or remixed using tools that are freely available and run on all major platforms (e.g., OpenOffice)?
  • Level of Expertise Required: Is the open content published in a format that requires a significant amount technical expertise to revise or remix (e.g., Blender)? Is the open content published in a format that requires a minimum level of technical expertise to revise or remix (e.g., Word)?
  • Meaningfully Editable: Is the open content published in a manner that makes its content essentially impossible to revise or remix (e.g., a scanned image of a handwritten document)? Is the open content published in a manner making its content easy to revise or remix (e.g., a text file)?
  • Self-Sourced: It the format preferred for consuming the open content the same format preferred for revising or remixing the open content (e.g., HTML)? Is the format preferred for consuming the open content different from the format preferred for revising or remixing the open content (e.g. Flash FLA vs SWF)?

If you are having technical difficulties revising or remixing others' OERs, contact your librarian.

Student Copyright

If you choose to get your students involved in the creation of OER, consider the following:

  1. Students own the copyright in the work they do for your course; help them make an informed decision about whether to openly license work they have done by providing information about their rights.  Librarian Christin Wixson is available to visit your class to share information on copyrights and open licensing or to facilitate student discussion on those topics.
  2. Students may have good reasons for wanting to remain anonymous online and should be allowed to use a pseudonym when publishing online.

For more information on involving students in the creation of OER, see A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students.