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Open Educational Resources (OER): Create

How to Create an OER

Consider creating an OER if you cannot find acceptable content for your teaching needs.  When you do, you are freely and openly contributing to knowledge for equity and equality and your product is open to the community of learning for use, re-use, adaptation, and free access. Your files therefore, should be editable  and sharable to allow others make changes as needed through adaption.


Steps for creating an OER:

  • Plan for your OER
  • Select a Tool
  • Make your OER Accessible
  • Share your OER
  • Update & Evaluate

Video "Creating Open Educational Resources" by Abbey Elder is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International license. Text adapted from Not Just Another Textbook by Lauri Aesoph, which is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International License.


Possible OER tools for building 

See Creating OER in The OER Starter Kit for guidance on creating or licensing an OER. 



Plan for your OER

Consider the following:

  • Determine if a suitable OER that meets already exist
  • Define your student and faculty audiences
  • Determine the course(s) for which you want to use OER
  • Determine the required expertise

Adapted from The OER Starter Kit by Abbey K. Elder, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Select a Tool

Tools for creating OER contain features that facilitate openness, discoverability, accessibility, and sharing.

Consider the following when selecting appropriate tools for creating your OER:

  • Format of Textbook: Look for a tool that supports your format (create text-based or multimedia resources, or course modules)
  • Tools that Support Special Characters: consider tools that allow you to  include special character/equations.
  • Tools that Support Accessibility: Consider tools that facilitate creating content that is accessible.
  • Open Licensing: Consider tools that allow applying a Creative Commons license.
  • Hosting: Consider tools that allow sharing on a platform with a permanent link.
  • Export Options: Consider tools that allow exporting your content to a format that others can reuse and share, including exporting to a printable format.

Possible OER tools for building OER content

See Creating OER in The OER Starter Kit for guidance on creating or licensing an OER. 

Make Your OER Accessible

Making your OER accessible is key to a successful implementation of OER resources. Consider the following accessibility tools as you plan to create an OER.

Adapted from "Maintain the Book" by Lauri Aesoph, BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Share Your OER

Make your resource accessible to others. Before sharing,

  • Consider supplements to your resource: slides, video transcripts, assignments
  • Make your resource editable (i.e., use open file formats, provide editable source files)
  • Determine the appropriate Creative Commons License
  • Determine the platform for sharing

Sites to Share OER Directly



Sections of this page have been modified from the COERLL Module on Open Educational Resources, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 Attribution License.

 CC BY logo 

Update & Evaluate

Gathering feedback, fixing errors, and creating revisions and new editions are critical steps in maintaining your OER and  to making them more effective.

To maintain your OER:

  • Invite feedback from your readers, through a form, via email, or by enabling comments.
  • Allow readers to report errors, through a form, email, and recording corrected errors. Add an erratum or recording changes on a Versioning History page.
  • Track adoptions. Gather statistics about the use of your OER  to measure your impact and promote your work.


Adapted from "Maintain the Book" by Lauri Aesoph, BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

OER Workflow Summary

William Meinke has used instructional design frameworks to define a few key states in OER creation. View the complete flowchart and workflows


Research Phase


Pre-production Phase

  • Collect existing OER and assets

  • Define your goals for the project, and define learning outcomes

  • Collect existing OER and assets (Curate(

  • Create timeline & working documents

  • Plan Assessment


Design Phase

Development Phase

  • Write and revise content

  • Check accessibility and copyright

  • Format and style

  • Get peer review and institutional review

  • Import to platform

Publishing Phase

  • Archive content in appropriate location, e.g.  Digital Commons

  • Create export versions

  • Assign a CC License

  • Assign metadata

  • Provide access to students



Open Access Publishers

The Writer's Guide