You can find anything on Google or YouTube.
The first question that always arises concerns the quality and accuracy of the information obtained in this way. All of the resources on oer.uclouvain.be have been "curated", which ensures that anything downloaded is technically reliable and free from viruses.
The second, and no less important, question concerns what rights you have – or do not have – to exploit these resources.
In exploiting an open educational resource (see "Finding OERs" section), you know its origin and its author. On some platforms, users can also give a resource a star rating to indicate its quality.
As a user, you can freely use the materials produced by your university colleagues who are experts in a particular field.
Under the Creative Commons licence (see Guides section) that protects the resource, your rights range from exploitation of the resource to modification and use of part of the resource.
You will save time and improve your courses.
Our university has some real hidden treasures when it comes to educational resources. Tucked away on our shelves or in our computers, many of us have little nuggets of information, course notes or high-quality materials that are a source of great pride to us and that might be useful to other colleagues or to people wishing to learn or improve themselves.
Get started today and take advantage of the many benefits, including the opportunity to emphasise academic values such as collaboration and the dissemination and sharing of knowledge. This approach is also flexible (anything submitted can be revised at any time), it requires little investment, it improves the quality of resources, it reduces student costs, it encourages collaboration and teaching innovation and it contributes to the author's international scientific reputation.
Some practical examples at UCLouvain
- You have developed a syllabus for one of your courses. It has now been finalised, in terms of both content and format, and you wish to share it and showcase your work.
- Do you have a set of explanatory leaflets in PDF, case studies documented by their instructional strategy, a slide show covering your course in PPT or PDF format, or a video already hosted on UCLouvain's podcast server? In this case, your teaching resource is ready to be shared and incorporated directly into OER-UCLouvain.
- Provided you own the rights to distribute this content on oer.uclouvain.be: you can submit it directly to the repository after logging in.
- You have developed an interactive website, or you have uploaded videos to YouTube or slide shows to SlideShare. That's a powerful OER!
Otherwise, the calls for proposals are there to help you:
- You have developed a syllabus for one of your courses, but it has not yet been finalised. You need help to finalise its formatting, for example to turn it into an e-book and then make it available to the outside world via an OER.
- Do you have a Moodle course comprising a collection of resources and activities and do not have time to convert the material into a format suitable for OERs and documented by the instructional strategy?
- The slide show you have is ready to be exported except that you have used images that are not royalty-free. The replacement of these images with equivalent royalty-free images (to be found) could be the subject of a project proposal.
- You are using a CD-ROM distributed to the students on your course by a UCLouvain partner (society, bookshop, etc.). Have you ever thought that in an OER format, dissemination would be more direct and greatly facilitated? Ask for a technical media conversion quote (from the Multimedia Centre, for example) and why not submit a project proposal?
- Do you want to create some new video clips for your course and make them available to as many people as possible? The creation of new materials is clearly outside the scope of this call for proposals and is more a matter for the Educational Development Fund. Once the clips have been produced, they can of course be incorporated later.
UCLouvain's OER calls for proposals are there for you!