Sharing and Adapting Educational Resources – How Can It Make Our Works More Scalable and Efficient?


Culture of sharing is always considered as a noble trait of humankind. Whereas sharing any financial or economic resource got a trade-off, sharing educational resources on the other hand creates a win-win situation for both the creators and users.
In the last webinar organized by GIRLSInspire team at COL, the guest speaker Dr. David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario, had an excellent talk on innovation in ODL. He nicely pointed out ‘innovation starts when people convert problems into new ideas’. He specified there should be four conditions for innovation:

  • Difficult challenges that invite new ideas;
  • Organizational support that welcomes creativity;
  • Space to experiment, and fail if necessary; and
  • Passion in abundance to overcome problems.

According to Dr. David Porter, sharing educational resources is the big innovation in teaching and learning both for ODL as well as face-to-face systems. He recalled the 1st paragraph of Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages… ” (UDHR, UN, 1948). He specified that there are at least five benefits of open resources over the free resources as below:

  • Benefit  #1: Instructors have full legal control to customize and contextualize learning   resources for their students.
  • Benefit #2: Access to customized resources improves learning.
  • Benefit #3: Opportunities for authentic learning activities.
  • Benefit #4: Collegial collaboration.
  • Benefit #5: Demonstration of the service mission institutions.

Therefore, sharing resources openly is more powerful than even to offer an educational resource free; i.e, OPEN¹FREE, rather OPEN>FREE. Openness of an educational resource is defined by 5R’s criteria. A truly open resource must comply with 5R’s criteria:

  • Retain = The right to make, own and control copies of the contents.
  • Reuse  = The right to use the content in a wide range of ways
  • Revise = The right to adapt, adjust, or modify the content itself
  • Remix = The right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new
  • Redistribute = The right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others

Creative Commons, a US-based non-governmental organization, promotes some open licenses that justify the levels of openness of an educational resource in terms of usage permission and 5R’s criteria. The link below details the various licenses promoted by Creative Commons:
Creative Commons Licenses
If an educational resource got any of these licenses, it implies that the resource can be used without taking permission of the creator or publisher. The most open resources are which are published under CC-BY license. Usually, the educational resources released under the following four licenses CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC, and CC-BY-NC-SA are considered as Open Educational Resources (OER). However, the educational resources released under CC-BY-ND and CC-BY-NC-ND are not considered as OER.
Could you share one thing that you have learned from the webinar? Do you have any educational or training resource that is released as OER? If yes, what license you are using? I am looking forward to your contribution in this regard.