OER Academy: Introduction to OER Discovery


ISKME's OER Commons Team has designed these OER Academy modules to support and advance your open educational practice. Our comprehensive OER toolset and immersive professional learning program will assist educators in enhancing their capacities to use, evaluate, curate, and create OER. 

This is the first module in our OER Academy series that will provide participants with an introduction to OER and the value add, highlighting successful use cases from around the world. We have designed these modules to first spark the learner's interest in the topics covered and then dig deeper into the content through presentations, storytelling, and demonstrations of the tools. We will offer opportunities for learners to practice exploring the resources and tools, and reflect on how they might use them in their work. 

OER Academy Outline:

Introduction ot OER  (3 modules)

- Module 1 - Overview of the what, why, and how of OER; including an exploration in open licensing and a showcase of OER use cases from around the world

- Module 2 - Content Discovery: identify teaching and learning goals, search and browse collections

- Module 3 - Curation and Collaboration of OER with groups, shared folders and discussions

Quality Evaluation (2 modules)

- Module 1 - Quality: participants reflect and share their quality criteria for teaching and learning materials they use

- Module 2 - Tools for Evaluating: explore digital tools for assessing OER (Achieve Rubric, Rating, Comments)

Authoring and Remixing (3 modules)

- Module 1 - Authoring Toolset: demonstration of Open Author and Module Builders

- Module 2 - OER Design: discover instructional design supports, including templates

- Module 3 - OER Remix: overview of the what, why, and how of remixing OER

Open Education Practice for curriculum improvement (1 module)

- Deep dive into the feedback, refinement, reflection, and revision process

Leadership and Advocacy (1 module)

- Exploration and planning of ways to lead and advocate for OER


To participate in group discussions during the REFLECT sections you will need to create a login and join the Group. Please see instructions below

CREATE A PROFILE on OER Commons to be able to contribute to the discussions in our group, and to save, organize, remix, and author resources. Share some information about yourself and upload a photo or image here: https://www.oercommons.org/profile/edit

JOIN OUR GROUP Once you've logged in successfully, join the Introduction to OER Group by clicking "Join This Group"

Lost in Search?

With an overwhelming number of sites to search for teaching and learning resources online, it can be very time consuming and sometimes you can feel lost...

Fluffy Kitten Lost in Search

REFLECT Before we explore search strategies for finding resources online, we'd like to know more about how you are currently searching for resources to you use in your teaching. Take a moment to reflect on your current process for discovering resources. Reply here

*Reminder: you will need to be logged in to OER Commons and join the Howard County Public School Group to reply to the discussion.

OER Search Strategies

ISKME's OER Commons digital library is designed to support you in easily accessing resources that are related to your desired topic area or keyword. We offer various discovery tools that allow you to type in a keyword for a basic search, or add additional search criteria like Subject, Education Level, and Learning Standard, Material Type, and Media Format in Advanced Search and Refine Search modes. Before we begin our searching, it is important to consider what our current instructional and curricular needs are. Here are a few questions to ponder to help you identify some potential topic areas and keywords:

  1. Are there any specific content gap areas in my existing curriculum? For example, I might have an urgent need for math modeling or STEM literacy resources.
  2. Are there new types of digital materials that I would like to integrate into my existing curriculum? For example, I might want to offer my students more opportunities to use interactive games and simulations.
  3. Are there innovative teaching and learning strategies and styles that I would like to incorporate into my instructional plan? For example, I might desire to try some kinesthetic learning or guided inquiry activities.
  4. Are there current events and news topic areas that I need resources for? For example, I might be interested in finding the latest resources on climate change or refugees.

OER Discovery in Action

Join Science Teacher and OER Trainer, Joanna Schimizzi as she walks us through her process of thinking deeply about what types of resources she currently needs to support innovative teaching and learning in her class (considering the questions above), identifying a keyword to type into the search bar (kinetic energy), then exploring the results, refining her search, and reflecting on the resource she discovered.

WATCH Joanna's Search and Discovery below.

Joanna's Search and Discovery

PRACTICE: Now it’s your turn to practice using the Search, Advanced search, and Refine Search tools on OER Commons. To get started, go to OERCommons.org and type your keyword into the search bar. Explore the resources and select one that you might be able to use in your teaching.

REFLECT: Hopefully you were able to discover at least one resource that you might be able to use in your teaching. Reply here to share the resource you discovered and how might you use it in your teaching.

Next Module

Our next module will explore OER Curation and present best practices and recommendations for curating high quality content, showcasing state and district examples. We will demonstrate tools for saving and organizing OER in private and shared groups. Then, we will have time to practice using the tools to curate OER for immediate use in the classroom. 

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