Preparing Faculty to Find, Remix, and Create Open Educational Resources

Concurrent Session 11
Streamed Session

Brief Abstract

This session describes how instructional designers partnered with other campus units at a large university in the United States to design and deliver the first incentivized faculty development program about open educational resources. Lessons learned, as well as resources, will be shared with attendees.


John Raible is an Associate Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida's Center for Distributed Learning. In this role, he works with faculty to transition courses from face-to-face to the blended or online environment. His research areas include the integration of emerging technology into online curriculum, accessibility for online learners, and the use of OER materials. He has presented at local, state, national, and international conferences; John has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals.
In the summer of 2011, Aimee joined the Instructional Design team at CDL. She graduated with a Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Cincinnati in 2011. Her research interests include quality online course design, textbook affordability, online discussion strategies, and technology and gender. Dr. deNoyelles has published in several journals including Computers & Education, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, and Journal of Special Education Technology.
Ashley is an Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida, Center for Distributed Learning. Prior to joining the CDL team, Ashley taught in the K-12 environment where she developed her skill set to advance and apply effective teaching practices. Her current research interests include professional development for teaching online, application of emerging technologies, and the use of OER materials.

Extended Abstract

Textbook affordability continues to be a systemic issue in American higher education. Students are negatively impacted by the high cost of course materials; inconsistent access to course materials is linked to poor academic performance or failing a course altogether (Florida Virtual Campus, 2016).

One way of addressing this issue is to leverage open educational resources (OER). The most common definition for OER is provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNSECO): “Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation” (UNSECO, n.d.).

While OER is a promising direction to lower costs for students, faculty face a multitude of barriers in its adoption. According to the Babson Report (2016), faculty are interested in this option but are generally unaware of how to proceed; “Survey results, using responses of over 3,000 U.S. faculty, show that OER is not a driving force in the selection of materials – with the most significant barrier being the effort required to find and evaluate such materials” (p. 2). Time and monetary compensation are two main incentives that typically drive faculty to participate in professional development (Browne, Holding, Howell, & Rodway, 2010).

In this session, instructional designers from the University of Central Florida will describe their experience creating the first incentivized professional development program with faculty on OERs. Through a partnership with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning as well as the UCF Library, a faculty cohort was invited to learn strategies to find, reuse, remix, create, and share OERs. The overall goal was for faculty to enhance at least one of their courses with OERs.

Faculty participants were asked to:

  • Attend an opening and closing cohort meeting

  • Participate in a self-paced online course about OER

  • Attend at least three OER workshops

  • Design an OER deliverable to implement during the next course offering

  • Produce a final product or report

The faculty cohort's workshops consisted of hour-long working sessions and covered the following topics:

  • Finding Free Materials for Your Course

    • Cohort participants identified a topic in which the content could be updated or augmented with open educational resources. Facilitators shared details on how to find open source content and explore some of the most popular sites for finding free resources

  • What Would It Take to Replace Your Textbook?

    • Cohort participants were invited to bring their textbook and syllabus to this workshop to see what it would take to replace their current text with an open source text that’s free for students and could be tailored to each course.

  • Copyright Considerations for Open Educational Resources (OER)

    • The primary focus of this workshop was primarily on copyright considerations for OERs, including selecting materials that could legally be incorporated into open textbooks and other open content. Topics covered during open discussions included fair use, public domain, open access, Creative Commons licenses, and more.

  • Reusing and Remixing Open Licensed Materials

    • Cohort participants met with UCF faculty who had implemented a reused and remixed Open Educational Resource. Learning how to use and alter open source material to fit individual needs, with attention to factors such as licensing derivative works, accessibility, and sources to promote active learning and student engagement. Topics addressed included copyright, customization, and presentation to students.

  • Creating and Sharing Open Licensed Material

    • The cohort participants learned how to create and share their own educational resource in this hands-on workshop. They identified the best license for their work and how to publish with confidence. Specifically, the cohort discussed suitable formats for distribution, appropriate licensing, and considerations for accessibility.

We will share some resources that were distributed, including:

  • A link to the self-paced open online course, “Making the Transition to Open: The Easy Way to Create, License, and Share Free Materials,” created by Matthew Bloom

  • A handout demonstrating various methods for faculty to be involved with OER on campus.

  • A Rubric remixed to evaluate OER

  • Faculty samples/reflections



Babson Survey Research Group (2016). Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16. Oakland, CA: I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman.

Browne, T., Holding, R., Howell, A., & Rodway-Dyer, S. (2010). The Challenges of OER to Academic Practice. Journal Of Interactive Media In Education,

Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey. Tallahassee, FL.

UNESCO. (n.d.). What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?. Retrieved from