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Preparing, Packaging and Uploading Resources

Page history last edited by Alex Fenlon 11 years, 4 months ago

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Preparing

All resources will have to undergo some degree of preparation prior to being shared. This can be vital in enabling potential adopters to be able to locate suitable OER and use them.

 

Accessibility

As with all educational resources, it is necessary to ensure the materials meet with the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), in so much as 'reasonable adjustments' have been made to allow the materials to be accessible by those with disabilities.  This should include content and formatting issues, and could be something as simple as using document styles rather than bold fonts to indicate headings and titles.There are various different standards that should be adhered to and these differ depending on the platform the materials are presented within.  Not only do these tools make resources accessible they also make them look more professional too.  Detailed information on making reasonable adjustments can be obtained from JISC TechDis and their Accessibility Essentials illustrate how to make accessible documents.

 

Context

When releasing OER it is worth considering adding some contextual information to guide the user.  By outlining what the resource was originally created for, the course details, learning outcome and how it was used it allows a potential reuser to see how they might use the resource.  This could be a simple as adding a link to the course page on your institution's website, or a link to the prospectus.  Context is useful to know when assessing resources to see if they apply for a particular use.  That said, it might be that one resource can be used in many different contexts.

 

Metadata

When an OER is uploaded to a repository or other site, information about the resource, known as 'metadata', will be requested. Metadata enables potential reusers find the OER they require. It can also be advantageous to add metadata to the OER itself. For more information about metadata and how to add it see: Adding Metadata to Resources.

 

File Type 

As well as considering accessibility it is also worth considering the file type that would be most useful to the potential user. This may include offering the OER in more than one format to suit different users. If the resource is to be offered with a licence that allows the resource to be amended, take care not to offer it in a format which makes this difficult (eg pdf verus .doc file formats.)

 

File Size

Not all users will be able to download large files. Consider if possible subdividing large files.


 

Packaging

At some point you’ll need to decide whether to publish your resources individually or in collections, depending on the nature of the resources you’re interested in releasing. A good Open Educational Resource (OER) will work and be editable/re-usable as a standalone unit, though it may be that you have a suite of resources that will be of more benefit presented together and in context.

A simple way of grouping a set of resources together to create a single file to upload is to ZIP them, using a file compression program such as WinZIP, WinRAR or 7zip. The first two have free versions available and the third is true open source. It is strongly recommended that you include additional files with your collection outlining details on ownership, licensing, re-use and accessibility, for the users’ benefit, and to help ensure correct attribution once the resource(s) has left its repository.

A more comprehensive and useful method however, is to create a collection using a content packaging application [see Content packaging applications].


 

Uploading 

The format of the resource will determine where best to upload it, depending on whether your resource might be a video, image, text document or set of lecture slides.  It may even be two or more of the above, for example an electronic book containing text and images.  In this case you might want to upload the book to a document sharing website and also extract some of the images and upload them separately to an image sharing website.

Generally, instruction for how to upload an OER to a repository or a Web 2.0 site would be available on the site itself. However, here are some detailed guidance notes on uploading to some of the key sites for sharing OER:

Web2Access gives details of the accessibility of Web 2.0 tools so might be useful in helping you choose where you share your OER.

 

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