Re-using existing content can save you time and is one of the fundamental benefits of open education. There is now a lot of content on open science topics available, so the key challenge is to find content that is appropriate for your particular needs and outcomes.
Some questions you can ask yourself when selecting material include:
- Does it match the learning activity type you have selected?
- Does the material match the learning outcomes and audience needs?
- Is the language clear and concise?
- Is the content up-to-date and accurate?
- Do you trust the source of the material?
- Can you identify the authors of the material and assess their expertise?
- Will you need to adapt the material or can you use it as is? If you need to adapt it, is it in a format that is easy to adapt?
- Does it have a licence which allows you to reuse the content? It’s important to understand what you can and can’t do with open licences - see this guide to Creative Commons licenses)
- Are you able to embed the content? (eg videos, PowerPoint)
Make sure you keep track of any resources that you use so that you can provide attribution. Keep a folder for resources you have saved. It can be helpful to change filenames to include an indication of the source, especially for images. You could also use a reference manager tool such as Zotero to keep track of your resources and make crediting easier.
Even if a resource doesn’t have a Creative Commons licence you can usually reproduce some of the content under an educational fair use arrangement. But it is essential to keep track of the source of the material!
Sources of materials
SSHOC Training Discovery Toolkit (for Social Science & Humanities)
TESS ELIXIR’s Training Portal (for Life Sciences)
Understanding creative commons licences – Get CC Savvy