The aim of this portal is to support the (re)use of digital learning resources. The focus is especially on the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Massive Online Open Course (MOOCs).
More information on other subjects concerning Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching at the UT can be found on the TELT Portal.
Open Educational Resources (OERs)
OERs are online digital education tools that are freely available for (re)use. Copying, editing and distributing this material is allowed on certain conditions. Every type of educational material that is available both digitally and freely can be classified as an Open Digital Resource. You can find more information on the use of Open Educational Resources at the SURF Special Interest Group Open Education (Dutch only).
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
MOOCs are about more than individual digital resources. They offer complete courses, using combinations of various education methods; e.g. video lectures, exercises and discussions. These MOOCs are often free of charge, however, a fee may be charged for certification/ examination. More information on MOOCs (Dutch only).
A type of Open Educational Resources which is often highlighted separately are the so-called open textbooks. Open textbooks are used to provide study material for students free of charge. Providers of open textbooks usually do charge a fee for a hard copy of an open textbook.
Using digital resources in teaching can improve the quality and allure of the learning process. Additionally it can improve the connection with the students’ perceptions, and in some cases it can save the teacher time. There are various types of digital resources available; e.g. teaching aids, exercises, lectures, audio clips, images, and games.
How to use digital resources in your teaching
Similar to when you design an education programme without digital resources it is important to adjust the goals, examination methods and didactics to each other. Ideally the study goals are your starting point when designing an education programme, and then you can use digital resources as a means to reach those goals. A digital resource is a means to reach a goal, and is generally not a goal in itself.
There are four ways in which to use digital resources in your education programme:
- In addition to your teaching. You could give your students tips on additional, clarifying or more comprehensive material. This material could be, for example, a test, a web lecture from another university, an inspiring video, a game, etc.
- As a substitute for your own teaching. You don’t offer some parts of your education programme as a classic lecture anymore, but replace them with digital resources. This can be material that you have made and used before, as well as material from others. By doing this you can use the time allotted for the lecture to actively work with the students and the material, for example by organizing a discussion, debate, or question & answer sessions.
- In class. It can be inspiring to use material from another expert in your field of study during a lecture. This can be done by using, for example, a short video clip
- As inspiration for your own teaching. Prior to your own series of lectures you can use digital resources made by others to inspire yourself, and to improve or implement a change to your education programme.
The people at the Centre of Expertise in Learning and Teaching (CELT) can support you during this process, both with existing material and developing your own. Contact the educational advisor of your faculty.
What are you allowed to do with online digital resources?
Always check the terms and conditions before using materials. Generally using video and audio material during a lecture is allowed, but there are restrictions when it comes to placing this on blackboard. More detailed information on this subject can be found on SURF’s copyrights website (Dutch only).
Material found through websites for Open Educational Resources will generally be freely available under a Creative Commons license, however, there is a variety in conditions there as well. For example whether you are allowed to edit/ adapt the material, whether you are allowed to use it for commercial purposes, and how you may distribute the material in question yourself. More information on the different CC-licenses can be found on the Creative Commons website.
Where to upload your own material?
At the moment the UT does not yet have a designated website where you can upload teaching material. Current options are: personal website, youtube, slideshare.
What should you take into account when sharing your own material
Make sure that you have permission from all your co-authors when you want to share material online. Also, don’t forget audio-visual material from third parties that you may have used. When you have used images and video clips from the internet, make sure to check the terms and conditions for using them.
NB Using video and audio material during a lecture is allowed, but there are restrictions when it comes to placing this on blackboard. More detailed information on this subject can be found on SURF’s copyrights website (Dutch only).
In addition to this, you have to consider under which licenses you want to share your own material.
What licenses can you use?
Sharing your work under a Creative Commons (CC)-license is a good option. With this CC-license you retain all your rights as the creator of the material, while granting others permission to share or edit your material beforehand.
There are different options when choosing a CC-license, depending on what you want others to be able to do with your work. However, all licenses require that you are recognized as the creator of the material. You can choose whether people are allowed to edit your work, use it for commercial purposes, and whether they have to apply the same license when distributing the (derived) work. More information on the different CC-licenses and how to apply such a license to your material can be found on the Creative Commons website.
If you want to receive credits for taking an OER/ MOOC, you will have to ask permission from the examination board of your study.
At this moment we don’t know how and if the examination boards of the different faculties are able and willing to deal with this. Granting credits for a MOOC that has been taken is complicated. The examination board must be able to establish that the required level of competence of the study is being met, so don’t assume you will be able to get credits. Your main reason for taking a MOOC should be to broaden or deepen your knowledge as an addition to your own study programme.
There are a lot of digital resources available. Some teachers use them regularly in courses/ modules, while others only use them sparingly. As a student you may be interested in using digital resources as an addition to your teacher’s material.
Digital resources are suitable for:
- Acquiring a better understanding of a given subject. Sometimes another person’s explanation of a topic can be very clarifying.
- Getting a deeper understanding of the material. You may be so inspired by a certain topic that you wish to learn more about it.
- Broadening your knowledge. Your academic studies are interesting, but you may also be interested in other disciplines. By studying digital resources you can broaden your knowledge.
When you find digital resources that you think could be useful for others too, consider sharing those with your teacher and classmates.
Keep in mind that you can’t simply get credits for MOOCs you have taken, so consider MOOCs mainly as a way to enrich your knowledge.