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#LTTO Module 6- Online Resources

When you begin teaching online, you need to free yourself of the idea that you need to make everything yourself.

This is module six of a Learning To Teach Online MOOC with Coursera, (all content featured has been curated by the University of South Wales for Coursera) you can read about module 1 here and about module 2 here, and about module 3 here and about module 4 here and about module 5 here.

Module Learning Outcomes
By engaging with the content, and completing the activities and related discussion in this module, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of open educational resources (OER) and online resources in general
  2. Discuss issues related to Creative Commons and copyright for online resources
  3. Identify OER useful for your own teaching practice

Overview Video

Many educators and professionals have shared a variety of online resources, made freely available to educators and learners alike.

We also need to understand the restrictions around using what’s shared online and how we can evaluate these resources appropriately to decide what to use and how.

Setting a Learning Goal


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For this module (chosen from a list):

Gain confidence with tools and methods that I can use in my practice

For the whole MOOC (chosen from a list):

I want to gain knowledge about blended/online learning and use this to re-design my course.

Key Concepts Videos


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Online Resources (Video 1)

One of the most powerful advantages of the internet is having access to a wide variety  of resources that we can use, create our own or ask learners to create their own

We need to enable learners to select the appropriate resources and we need to be able to do it too.

Institutions, public commentators, subject experts- allows learners to contextualise their learning through analysis of different sources of information.

As a teacher, we should bring the knowledge of others into the class and facilitate discussion and learning activities instead.

Students can take an active role in creating resources and this also develops their digital skills.

Just because something’s online does not mean it’s free to use.

Copyright is restrictive as it protects the moral rights of the creator.

There are often less stringent policies in place for educational materials though.

Creative commons often allows sharing, using and even re-mixing of the resources available.

We and our learners need to appreciate creative commons and its limits.

Speak to staff at our institution about copyright

Using resources that infringe copyright means we can be held personally responsible

If we’re unsure what the copyright is then we should link directly to the material

Even if some other site/resource has breached copyright in the use of someone else’s resource, if we then copy it, we can be held responsible too.

Integrating Online Resources in Your Teaching (Video 2)

When you begin teaching online, you need to free yourself of the idea that you need to make everything yourself.

We can then consider the resources and how they’ll be relevant to our learners BUT- be aware of what you’re using and the context in which it was created.

Speak to your library and explore what resources they have available online- and how students can access them.

Voices of academics have been appreciated by learners- not just written online texts but audio and video too.

Capture practical classes and demonstrations as these are easy ways for your learners to access learning over and over again.

Always ensure class materials, handouts etc. are all available online so that the learner is able to problem solve their learning outside of class.

Link to content you’ve found on the web- rather than copying the text directly into something. Also check that the link you’ve found isn’t itself infringing copyright.

Many universities, academics and groups are great at sharing open educational resources- they share things they’re using with their learners and that they’ve created as part of a funded project.

We’re providing something far more challenging and stimulating by gathering the material available to learners online. We can then facilitate the discussion, seminars, questions and explorations.

Understanding Creative Commons video (Video 3)

There are 6 licenses available through Creative Commons and these are listed here:

Most basic condition is attribution- who the original creator was and where it can be found.

On top of this is a sharealike condition- anything you create that borrows from these works (above) then you must attribute and link to them- keep the chain of sharing going.

Non-commercial element- you can do what you like with this but you cannot make money from it. The general consensus is that education use would be fine here but making explicit use of it for monetary gain is not acceptable.

No derivative works means that you cannot take an element of this (the resource) and use it in your work.

Basic attribution (CC BY) is fantastic for education as you can use it any way you need to as long as credit is given. We should aim for this one where possible.

Attribute share-alike- If this resource is re-mixed then you need to keep the chain of sharing going and ensure you still attribute it.

Attribution No derivatives means that you need to say who made it but you can’t remix it at all or cut it up.

Attribution non-commercial share-alike- all of the above AND you can’t make money from it.

Attribution non-commercial no-derivatives- this is the most restrictive and best avoided if you want to use the resource in a really free way.

Creative Commons is taken seriously and lawyers will come to your aide if your CC license is ignored.

You can choose a license for your own work here:

Creating eBooks for distance education (Video 4)

University of Leicester lecturer

One department was shipping out paper-based materials to learners all over the world- this was upwards of £500 per learner. Instead, they bought each learner an e-reader, not dependent on the internet and then they uploaded their resources (up to 200 items). The learners said they spent far more time reading as it was so easy and quick.

To turn your Word Doc into an eBook then you save as and then select HTML.

Go to Calibre and download it

Launch it and then import your HTML file

Plug in your eReader, Calibre will see that you’ve plugged it in and the resource appears.

The drawback would be learners with their own devices but you could do it in class with the learners bringing in their devices at the start of a module for the downloads to take place.

Hippocrates- Online Medical Tutorials (Video 5)

Made by the University of Bristol

It contains short, interactive tutorials designed to prepare learners for their face-to-face study.

10-15 questions based around a case study, an image or a phrase.

The idea is that it’s short and ‘just in time’ teaching designed to be completed just before a group tutorial with a doctor.

Typical Structure: Warm-up, core information and definitions (with links if they WANT/NEED to explore more) some questions with instant feedback, other questions are thinking questions and then look at the feedback on screen. There’s a labelling tool they frequently use too. A flexible tool called Dragster.

Some of the tutorials don’t just cover subject content but also some of the concerns the students have when heading out into the wards.

Videos are used as well so that learners can see how to carry something out. First of all- demonstrations with commentary alongside. Afterwards- demonstrations that show how it should look in reality (without the commentary).

Learners came to face-to-face tutorials with questions, comments, prior knowledge and understanding that could be discussed and applied.

By giving learners the structure of preparation and then face-to-face teaching, encourages them to be  independent learners. They also introduced the idea that if you don’t know what it is then look it up- as this simulates what they’ll face when they’re doctors.

We took the time to show teachers and students how to use the resources in a supportive environment and we had really good feedback from this.

PDF Related to this module’s videos



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Self-Awareness Activity 6.1

Which of the following would you like to learn more about in relation to the use of online resources? (tick all that apply)

  • What different types of online resources are available (OER, free or subscription based, video, iBooks, documents, activities and flipped resources)
  • How to find relevant resources
  • How to create and share online resources
  • How to evaluate the resources I do find
  • How I can legally use them

Which of the following online resources have you not used before? (tick all that apply)

Is something that is published online covered by copyright law (such as a website, PDF or eBook)?

It depends upon the copyright law in the country where the online content is accessed

Correct. Copyright law applies in the country where content was accessed, NOT created. For more information see the Berne Convention. If in any doubt consult your institution’s copyright office or Library

Which of the following do you think might be effective in helping you to evaluate the appropriateness of the content of an OER for use in your teaching? (tick all that apply)

  • Asking a colleague’s opinion
  • Reading online reviews or ratings related to the resource
  • Checking through the content personally
  • Considering who the author is and what else they have published
  • Considering the context of the publication / resource

Some recommendations:

A guide to open education resources
Open Education Resources
Free to Learn Guide: Index of OER Resources
Achieve – Rubrics for Evaluating Open Education Resource (OER) Objects
Understanding Creative Commons
Copyright Basics: What is copyright?

Lighting Essentials – COFA Online Resources
The Essential Guide to Writing an eBook & Sharing It

How to Create PDF Files

Video resource list

5 Apps for Making Movies on Mobile Devices

How To Stream Live Video From Your Smartphone

Be a video and film pro with your iPhone – Smart Film School

iPad in Education

iTunes U Course Manager

How I Published to the iTunes Bookstore

Now anyone can create an iTunes U course to be viewed on student iPads

How to publish on iTunes. Step 3 – Add your book to iTunes Producer

Interactive activities resource list

Interactive Authoring Support for Adaptive Educational Systems

How do adaptive learning programs differ from textbooks?
Interactive Narrative for Adaptive Educational Games:Architecture and an Application to Character Education

Tailored online learning is the future

An Interactive Learning Environment for Adaptive Systems Instruction
Values Impacting the Design of an Adaptive Educational Storybook

How to Create Effective Activities for Online Teaching

We recommend that you explore following curriculum design resources:
Finding, Evaluating and Using Online Resources
Where might you find different types of online resources? (tick all that apply)

Which of the following qualities should you consider when evaluating the suitability of an online resource? (tick all that apply)

  • Alignment to learning outcomes
  • Clarity of explanation of the subject matter
  • Accuracy or validity of information
  • Reputation and appropriateness of the source
  • Functionality of the resource
  • Relevance of activities or assessment
  • Suitability of the technology required
  • Pedagogic design
  • Production quality
  • Accessibility
  • Age and education level appropriateness
  • Appropriateness of technology
  • Copyright issues
  • Hidden costs related to use

Scenario: A teacher creates a series of instructional videos in which she explains how to teach using different types of technologies and the impact of using these technologies on students’ performance. In the videos she supports her ideas using relevant diagrams from key textbooks and research findings of other people to make comparisons with theoretical averages. She distributes these videos via her institution’s server to her students, and they work so well that she decides to share them with other teachers around the world by publishing them online as an OER.
She wants to make sure that the videos remain freely available to anyone and not used for profit, would prefer that others who use the videos in some way credit her, and she wants people to continue to share them with others. Apart from this, she doesn’t mind how the videos are used.

She shouldn’t publish her videos online due to copyright infringement

What do Curators, e-Educators and Constructivists all have in common?
Understanding Content Curation
Creative commons legal code
Understanding Creative Commons
Copyright Guide
Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources


Q. What are your primary reasons for considering using online resources in your own teaching? What benefits do you imagine will come from their inclusion?

A. This year, my learners are studying on a course where 30 minutes of their study time per week is allocated to online learning. I have been growing my online learning parts of my course over the last two years and would love to put my learning and research to full use in getting learners to do some purely online projects outside of class. There have also been some recommendations released by FELTAG that suggest learners need to be studying more online and developing their digital skills in order to be successful in the workplace. The benefits will hopefully be that the learners develop the following skills:

  • Digital skills- literacy and technical capability
  • Digital savvy- staying safe online as well as developing a positive online presence and profile
  • Networking and collaborating
  • Literacy skills- by presenting their written skills to wider audiences

Q. Which specific types of online resources do you think may be relevant to your own situation (videos, documents, interactive activities, etc)? Why?

A. Video would be useful as the learners can connect with this quickly and easily- I can use screencasts of tutorials, video recordings of me giving advice/suggestions or feedback and critique and learners have found video especially helpful in the past as they’re able to watch it more than once. I imagine that podcasts/audio will be useful for similar reasons. Documents/ebooks/journals will definitely be useful as the learners need to practise their comparative analysis skills- so any documents that can be highlighted, annotated and/or commented upon.

Q. What particular considerations do you need to keep in mind if using these types of resources (think about issues of access, suitability)?

A. Video- will it be available without wifi/internet connection? Unlikely in most cases. Can I cut it and incorporate it with something else if necessary?- possible copyright infringement. Will learners be able to access/download if they don’t have much bandwidth available? Do they have a suitable device with which to access the videos? Is the lighting/wording/sound of good quality? Podcasts and audio- I have not used this much but I imagine the concerns are similar/the same as above with videos. Documents/ebooks/journals- copyright will be the major challenge/accessibility issue. Also ensuring they are not too long and have appropriate layout/content throughout.

Q. What steps will you take to evaluate the suitability of any potential online resources?

A. I will ensure I check the copyright and creative commons license carefully and I will aim to ensure, where possible, that I access resources through attribution routes so that I am more free to use the resources (as long as I attribute). I will speak to colleagues and confer with my personal learning network on Twitter and Google to see if they have used the resources before. I will ensure I take time to check resources thoroughly myself- especially whether the resources closely align with learning outcomes, activities and assessments. I will collect feedback from students whilst they are using them so I can adjust my choice of resources in the future.

Q. In what ways have the activities in this module assisted and/or changed the way you already use, or would like to use online resources?

A. This module has helped me to identify a range of open resources to explore- I am prone to create things myself but I have more recently found the benefits of combining pother resources with my own activities. I have been reminded of creative commons licensing and have had it explained to me clearer than ever before so I can be confident in using open resources in class, out of class and with learners.

Discussion Forums


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I read through one very long discussion thread about how teacher’s work is owned by the organisation they work for. There were arguments about content that isn’t created on company time and whether that belongs to the individual… I personally believe that education institutions are going to have to change the way the do things in order to accommodate the new online world of sharing and creating open educational resources.

Another forum raised concerns over paid for online resources and whether or not you were really paying for quality- the answer was a resounding no! More often than not, big name companies are contracted to use certain software and this can often not be the most accessible for learners.

People in the forums also shared the following links

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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