Licensing and sharing your own Open Educational Resources (OER)
Once you’ve adapted a resource or created a new one from scratch (alone, or together with students or colleagues), you can share it online as an Open Educational Resource (OER). Before doing so, you need to license your resource with an open license.
On this page, we provide a guide detailing how to pick and apply an open Creative Commons license to your work, and how and where you can subsequently your own open educational resource online.
Licensing materials as OER
If you want to share your own educational resources with the rest of the world as Open Educational Resources (OER), it is important to apply an open license to your resources. We recommend that you contact the OER support team in case you wish to share any materials as OER, as they can help you with licensing your work and sharing it online. You can reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the University of Groningen, we generally use Creative Commons licenses for our open licensing needs. You can find an overview of these licenses in our guide on copyright and open licensing. No specific Creative Commons license is the standard, but for most OER we have generally used the CC-BY-NC-SA license. If you wish to use a different license, this is possible as well, provided everybody involved in the creation of the OER approves. This tool by the Creative Commons organization allows you to pick the right license for your work by answering a few simple questions.
For the CC-BY-NC-SA license the following permissions are granted to users of the OER: they are allowed to retain, reuse, reshare, revise, and recombine your resource for non-commercial purposes, as long as they give proper attribution to the University of Groningen (the copyright holder) and share any altered versions of your resource openly as well.
Licensing a work is quite simple: there is no central copyright authority that needs to be contacted. You simply need to apply a proper license text to your work. As an example, for a CC-BY-NC-SA license applied to an OER made at the University of Groningen, this is the text set-up that can be used:
This work is licensed by the University of Groningen under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Note that the University of Groningen is the one that should be mentioned, as they are the copyright holder for educational material created by employees (but not students) of the university. However, you are free to mention yourself (and your colleagues) as the creator elsewhere in your work, and are also allowed to give a more precise title instead of simply "this work". The Creative Commons license chooser tool can also help in case you are unsure on how to format the license text. In addition to the text, a Creative Commons license icon representing the license is often put on the work as well. You can download these icons here.
Sharing your OER
How do I share my materials?
Once you have licensed your work under a Creative Commons license, you can share it publicly online. Sharing your OER on your own website is an option, but it is unlikely to reach a large audience this way. Therefore, it is preferable to upload your work to a platform where people can easily find it, such as Edusources, OER Commons, or MERLOT.
You are free to share your OER as widely as possible, but we recommend first sharing it on Edusources. This platform is part of SURF, the ICT cooperation between Dutch learning and research institutes. This means that you can use your existing University account to access the repository behind Edusources: SURFsharekit. Furthermore, many other platforms have additional requirements for uploading OER, such as using their own tools to create a version of your OER that is suitable for their platform. However, these websites can also link through to Edusources, meaning that you minimize the amount of extra work you need to do. Below, we outline in detail how you can share your OER on Edusources/SURFsharekit, and how you can link the Edusources page to other repositories.
How to share your OER, step-by-step:
Edusources is the portal through which you can access OER, but the system behind this portal is known as Sharekit.
1. Login to surfsharekit.nl using your University of Groningen account login.
2. Click the new publication on the dashboard to upload your material, indicating what type of material it is and whether you want to use a previous upload as a template.
3. Provide the necessary files of, or links to your OER.
4. Fill out the general and extra information sections, describing the resource, its technical format and provided publication information. You can also link your resource to another one to help create a coherent set (i.e., connecting multiple lessons that are part of the same course), and schedule when the material can become public.
5. Indicate where you want to publish your materials, this generally being Edusources.
At this point, you have shared your work via SURFsharekit. After approval from the administrators, the material will be live on Edusources.
6. Once the material is live, you can take the URL to the Edusources page and go to other repositories (MERLOT, OER Commons) and post the link there. You will need to make an account for these webpages, and have to provide similar metadata as you did when you uploaded it to Edusources.
If you need help with these steps, you can always reach out the OER support services at: email@example.com.
Licensing and sharing OER in specialized formats
For some forms of OER, such as interactive online textbooks and videos, licensing and sharing is slightly more complicated than described above. Some of these materials are required to be formatted in specific ways as they are published on UG channels of different platforms before the link can be shared via Edusources.
If you have developed an OER that needs to be published on a different platform via official UG channels, and you have not yet been in contact the OER support team, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licensing and sharing your data openly
Much of the teaching done at the University of Groningen is data-driven, and open data(sets) can therefore be very useful for teaching purposes. You can find more information on openly sharing your data, as well as open data repositories on the webpage of the University of Groningen's Digital Competence Centre (DCC).
Links to other guides and support
With the information in this guide, we hope you are now able to apply a suitable license for your work, and upload your OER to multiple sharing platforms. If you need more support or have questions regarding the licensing and sharing process, you can reach the OER support services at: email@example.com.
In our other guides, we outline what OER are, how copyright is related to OER, why OER can/should be used in the classroom, where you can find suitable OER yourself, how you can implement any found OER in your teaching, and how you can create your own OER.