Open educational resources (OER) are freely usable material, such as texts, pictures, podcasts, data, research publications or other materials. Possible restrictions from licences must be acknowledged when using the material. Open educational material can be used for learning and teaching. When planning teaching, it is good to consider how open the materials chosen for the course are: if the university’s credentials are necessary to be able to access the materials or if they are openly available to everyone over the Internet. Especially when planning open online courses, it is essential that the materials are open to everyone.
Open educational materials also benefit teachers. A teacher can use open material made by another teacher—so it is good to open your own material for others to use. Open educational material demonstrates the teacher’s expertise, enables new chances for collaboration and increases the quality of the material.
Learning materials open to the learner provide opportunities to learn development competencies and discover new perspectives.
Using open educational resources
Open educational resources can be searched from the national service for open educational resources and it is also good to deposit the information about your own open materials there. The service and the educational resources found there are available to everyone under the terms and licence. The educational materials of the Library of Open Learning Materials can also be found in Finna.fi, which compiles materials from museums, libraries, and archives. The Open Educational Materials Library is a service of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Board of Education, which is constantly being developed.
Library’s Search guide for open access publications introduces ways to search open access scientific publications. Open study materials (e.g. information retrieval, open science, research data management) can be found on the library’s web pages.
Please note that educational materials or other works drawn up by others must be based on agreements with the copyright holder’s consent/author, for a license permitting use (e.g. Creative Commons licenses) or Kopiosto agreement for educational use in Finland.
Sharing your material
When designing open learning materials, check out the National Open Learning Guidelines (Open Learning Working Groups, Federation of Finnish Learned Societies):
In particular, the national quality criteria for open educational resources should be used to assist in the production of open learning materials. Everyone can start at their own level and develop their competence and learning materials subdivision at a time.
Plan what material you want to open and where. Whether you want to open the whole course, a lecture record, presentation or something else. Choose a service which makes open access possible. Notice that some of the university’s services require university credentials.
Check the quality of the material. Share openly on the Internet only material that you yourself would want to find for use, that is material which is useful. Notice the target audience, if the material is openly available is it useful for everyone or could it be edited to serve a wider audience. Open digital material must also be accessible (UEF Heimo).
Check the copyright and ownership issues and your rights to open the material. If there are several producers of material, please remember to agree on the opening of the material with all authors. More information about copyrights in UEF Heimo. If you have questions about contracts related to open material contact: sopimukset[at]uef.fi
Go through the material you have produced and consider all the relevant issues related to sharing it. Check the permits to use material, such as pictures, from others and provide appropriate citations for work done by others.
Pay attention to any personal information that may be included in the material. Delete personal information from the material you want to share openly. Ask for a permission if someone else is presented in the material, for example, in the pictures or students’ assignments.
Add creator’s name/names and affiliation.
Express the terms and conditions with which others can use your material. For open material the Creative Commons licences are recommended. Suitable licences for open educational material are, for example, CC BY-SA 4.0 and CC BY 4.0. More information on the CC licences and how to choose them from the Creative Commons web page.
Open educational material is useful only when it is findable. In order to make your open material findable, describe it. Deposit descriptive information and the material or a link to it to a service where the material is openly available. It is recommended to deposit open educational material to the national service for open educational resources.
Open education and educational resources. National policy and executive plan by the higher education and research community for 2021-2025. Policy component 1. Open access to educational resources.
Open education and educational resources. National policy and executive plan by the higher education and research community for 2021-2025. Policy component 2. Practices for open learning and open teaching. (on the process, ready spring/summer 2022)
UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources, Draft
Oppitupa offers pedagogical and usage support in ICT, social media, and learning environments for UEF staff
Information about tools available at the university and guidance on how to use them (UEF Heimo)
Support for DigiCampus-moodle
Information about the quality of online teaching. eAMK quality criteria by Mari Varonen & Tuula Hohenthal
Data protection and personal data (UEF Heimo)