Open Education Info Center

Faculty: Technological concerns

Planning to share your materials online requires some technological considerations whether you are planning to a personal project or an institution-wide project. Here are some of the basic questions on technologies for OER.

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What are the authoring tools suitable for making OERs?

You can start by thinking in simplest terms; what are the tools you feel most comfortable with? If you would like to share your materials in forms of a document or a presentation, use the tools you’re accustomed to. You can choose to make a slidecast by adding voice to your slides. You can use a web-conference tool to make a recording of your lecture. Here are some of the other options you might consider for creating an online textbook and more: Authoring Accessible OER

How can I meet the accessibility requirements for OERs?

You might want to consult someone in the Accessible Technology department first in order to find out whether there’s a policy in place for creating accessible courses at your institution. Or you can go through these guidelines and checklist to see if you can adopt as many recommendations as possible. Accessible Technology Resources for Teaching and Learning are resources provided by the California State University. Try this checklist for Course and Instructional Materials for Faculty.

I want a platform to host just a couple courseware of my own. My institution does not have an OER initiative. Where can I go to upload my courses?

You can submit your courseware to MERLOT for peer review. If the courseware is of high quality, MERLOT will host your courseware and display it in their index. There are also websites that offer to be a marketplace for courses, and many have a section for sharing OERs. MERLOT would be the best option if you also care about discoverability of your course.

Is there a CMS more suitable to host OERs from my institution?

If your OER project has an institution-wide support, the best option would be to have the OER initiative integrated into the existing LMS. Most of the LMS offerings also have an OER extension or provides a function for faculty to choose what to open to public and what to keep closed.

Where can I find metadata standards for OERs?

The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative created a set of common metadata framework to tag and describe learning resources so that users can find the kind of resources they need when they search the web. This is a good place to find the metadata standards.

Are there any tools for automatic translation?

Both Google Translate and Bing Translator are very easy to use translation tools. They may not have the perfect translation, but you can still use these tools as a starting point to your translations. Both tools provide options to install on your website a widget that will automatically translate contents for your visitor.

I would like to create subtitles for my videos. Is there a tool for automatic transcription for videos?

YouTube gives you a rough transcript that you can use as a starting point. Here’s how to use it.  Amara.org allows manual online video captioning, which is quite simple to use. transLectures is a transcription tool commissioned by the European Commission.

I would like to translate quality OERs into my language. Are there any tools suitable for translating videos?

Amara also supports translations of captions. You can collaborate with others to translate videos on Amara.

What is machine readable Creative Commons license?

It is a description of copyright terms in RDF(Resource Description Framework). If you are interested in adding license information to your materials, refer to the wiki page here.

How do I make people find OERs from my institution more easily?

You need to make sure your OERs are tagged properly and have a sound metadata system to increase discoverability. You can also send your data to the Search engines specializing in Open Educational Resources and have them listed.

What is the best way to record my lectures?

Not everyone or every institution has the camera crew available to film and edit the lectures. This should not stop you from recording your lectures. There are some easy tools for individual teachers to use, if you are ready to try out some new tools. Here are  5 Digital Tools For The Flipped Classroom recommended by Teachthought.