Teaching Materials, Best Practice and Templates

Teaching materials (textbooks, powerpoint slides, reading lists, technology, etc) can make or break an online learning experience. Are your learning materials creating barriers to learning? Along with the links below, the open-source eBook Remote teaching: a practical guide with tools, tips, and techniques by Alison Flynn and Jeremy Kerr is also worth reading.


Creating and Sharing Teaching Materials

Choosing the Right Tools and Technology

There are many options for tools and technology when teaching online. Before asking your students to sign up or use a new technical solution in your class, it is important to familiarize yourself with the UAPPOL Student Instructional Support Fees Procedure. This policy was established to ensure supplementary incidental fees are assessed and collected according to established University procedures. More and more educational technology options are trending toward paid subscriptions and recurring fees which result in our students encountering unexpected educational fees. The connection between edtech options and traditional textbook publishing companies continues to grow in the education industry. Consulting the Library is a key step in considering your options and ensuring equitable access to your students.

UA Library staff can review reading lists, procure subscriptions, and identify suitable OER (open educational resource) options for your courses. Contact library.publishing@ualberta.ca for more information.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning has a list of useful third-party software listed on this page to help you use them effectively to enhance teaching and learning. Please note: Use of 3rd-party software may not be supported by IST services.

Manage References for Your Courses with the Library Reading List Service

Learn how the new Library Reading List Service can help you can organize and manage all your references for your courses (and for your own use!). Watch here.

Sharing Teaching Materials

Faculty and students both normally own the copyright of any work they create as part of their work or studies, respectively, at the University of Alberta. This means that you, as an instructor, can choose to assign a Creative Commons license to your materials. Similarly, it is the students’ decision whether or not to openly license and share what they have developed.

To determine if all rights reserved or Creative Commons licensing is the best fit for your teaching materials, please contact the Copyright Office at copyright@ualberta.ca or raise this topic during teaching consultation with CTL at ctl@ualberta.ca.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are intended to be easily accessible and reusable. Integrating an existing OER into your curriculum doesn’t need to be a solo process. Instructional Designers and Librarians can provide guidance and help you incorporate open resources into your course.

Creative Commons (Open) Licenses

Typically, OERs are licensed under an open licensing system, the most popular being the Creative Commons (CC) licensing system. The Creative Commons is an “open” license that allows others to reuse, adapt, and re-publish content. CC allows creators to explain, in plain language, how their works can be used by the broader community.  

The Four Components of Creative Commons Licenses:

by.png

Attribution (BY)

Proper attribution must be given to the original creator of the work.

nc.png

Noncommercial (NC)

The work cannot be used for commercial means such as for-profit advertising.

nd.png

No Derivative Works (ND)

The work cannot be altered or “remixed.” Only identical copies of the work can be redistributed without additional permission from the creator. 

sa.png

Share Alike (SA)

Iterations of the original work must be made available under the same license terms.

Image Source 

These elements are combined to create a total of six creative commons licenses, all of which can be viewed on the CC website.  Choosing a Creative Commons license can be confusing at first. Thankfully, the organization has created an online tool that will help you choose your license. The tool will also generate a licensing logo and statement to paste into your teaching materials.

For guidance on open licensing and sharing your teaching materials, please contact the Copyright Office at copyright@ualberta.ca or raise this topic during teaching consultation with CTL at ctl@ualberta.ca.  

OE Publishing at University of Alberta Library

Pressbooks is a simple publishing software for the authoring and publication of multimedia-rich print books, ebooks, and web books. The published books are shareable in multiple formats including pdf, epub, and mobi and can easily be adapted and updated using the Pressbooks software. In addition, the University of Alberta’s Pressbooks service also supports H5P. H5P is a plugin for existing publishing systems that enables the system to create interactive content like Interactive Videos, Presentations, Games, Quizzes and more

For more information about Pressbooks and the University of Alberta’s OER Publishing program, click here or contact library.publishing@ualberta.ca

The Importance of Design on Effective Learning
Uploading a Video to YouTube, Editing Subtitles and Linking to eClass

Learn how to upload your videos to YouTube and why this is preferred over sharing them on eClass or Google Drive. You’ll also learn how to access the automatic subtitles YouTube creates and how to edit them. Learn how to place a weblink of your YouTube video or playlist in your eClass course. Watch here.


Choosing Online Teaching Materials

Unlimited access, free to use, edit, and share. Explore open educational resources (OER) to ensure low barrier access to learning materials for your students. Plan beyond the pandemic by exploring open educational resources (OER) to ensure low barrier access to learning materials for your students.

The New Normal: OER to ReOpen Education
Open vs Closed Resources

OER (open educational resources) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and carry legal permission for open use. 

Some of the major advantages of OER, specifically open textbooks, over commercial publications include:

No End Dates

You can use OER for as long as you need;
Adapt for your needs — you can modify OER to fit your requirements, without asking for permission (attribution is still required, but that’s easy to do).

Free Use

Open textbooks are free to use and share, unlike traditional textbooks that usually require both a purchase price and additional fees to copy and share more than a small excerpt. 

Price

Digital open textbooks are free, and printed versions are typically available for the cost of printing.

Day-one Access

Students don’t have to wait for accessible versions of open textbooks, as they’re available immediately.

Adapted from https://bccampus.ca/2020/05/14/oer-trial-by-covid-19/


For more on OER during a time where COVID and economic challenges are influencing students’ abilities to purchase and access educational materials, see this article from BCcampus or watch Amanda Coolidge’s recent keynote for the Alberta OER Summit, here. 

UA Library staff can review reading lists, procure eBook subscriptions, and identify suitable OER textbooks for your courses. Contact library.publishing@ualberta.ca for more information.

Finding OER for your course

Start here! One great place to start looking for OER (open educational resources) is the BCcampus Open Textbook Collection. Although this collection is primarily in textbook format, the licensing allows you to remix and share the contents, too. 

The University of Alberta Library OER LibGuide includes search resources (Finding OER) for both instructors and librarians. Please know that finding OER can be an overwhelming process and there are various specialists on campus who are enthusiastic to support you. For help in starting your search, please feel welcome to email library.publishing@ualberta.ca

Whether you are developing a course pack or simply compiling resources for your course, we recommend seeking a review from the Copyright Office by using the Copyright Review Request form. This process is an excellent opportunity to ensure you are well educated about any rights usage limitations or freedoms you have with the materials you will be teaching with.  

Webinar: Discoverability and Sharing Open Educational Resources 
https://www.carl-abrc.ca/mini-site-page/webinar-discoverability-and-sharing-oer/

Editing and Sharing Teaching Materials

Open Educational Resources (OER) are intended to be easily accessible and reusable. Integrating an existing OER into your curriculum doesn’t need to be a solo process. Instructional Designers and Librarians can provide guidance and help you incorporate open resources into your course.

Creative Commons (Open) Licenses

Typically, OERs are licensed under an open licensing system, the most popular being the Creative Commons (CC) licensing system. The Creative Commons is an “open” license that allows others to reuse, adapt, and re-publish content. CC allows creators to explain, in plain language, how their works can be used by the broader community.  

The Four Components of Creative Commons Licenses:

by.png

Attribution (BY)

Proper attribution must be given to the original creator of the work.

nc.png

Noncommercial (NC)

The work cannot be used for commercial means such as for-profit advertising.

nd.png

No Derivative Works (ND)

The work cannot be altered or “remixed.” Only identical copies of the work can be redistributed without additional permission from the creator. 

sa.png

Share Alike (SA)

Iterations of the original work must be made available under the same license terms.

Image Source 

These elements are combined to create a total of six creative commons licenses, all of which can be viewed on the CC website.  Choosing a Creative Commons license can be confusing at first. Thankfully, the organization has created an online tool that will help you choose your license. The tool will also generate a licensing logo and statement to paste into your teaching materials.

For guidance on open licensing and sharing your teaching materials, please contact the Copyright Office at copyright@ualberta.ca or raise this topic during teaching consultation with CTL at ctl@ualberta.ca.  

OE Publishing at University of Alberta Library

Pressbooks is a simple publishing software for the authoring and publication of multimedia-rich print books, ebooks, and web books. The published books are shareable in multiple formats including pdf, epub, and mobi and can easily be adapted and updated using the Pressbooks software. In addition, the University of Alberta’s Pressbooks service also supports H5P. H5P is a plugin for existing publishing systems that enables the system to create interactive content like Interactive Videos, Presentations, Games, Quizzes and more

For more information about Pressbooks and the University of Alberta’s OER Publishing program, click here or contact library.publishing@ualberta.ca

Considerations and Challenges

Copyright

Faculty and students both normally own the copyright of any work they create as part of their work or studies, respectively, at the University of Alberta. This means that you, as an instructor, can choose to assign a Creative Commons license to your materials. Similarly, it is the students’ decision whether or not to openly license and share what they have developed. 

For guidance on facilitating the open licensing and sharing of OER developed by students (e.g. renewable assignments), please contact the Copyright Office at copyright@ualberta.ca or raise this topic during teaching consultation with CTL at ctl@ualberta.ca.  

Privacy

A concern that comes up for both students and instructors is privacy. Aspects of both learning and teaching are a private endeavour and teaching in the open requires making decisions about what elements, or course assignments can be completed in the open and what elements may require sharing only between student and teacher or students and their peers.

Time

As with any change to an instructors practice, developing open assignments can take considerable time on the part of the instructor and in some cases, students. Instructors can consult with a CTL Educational Developer to plan their approach, collaborate with instructors who have taught using a similar approach or tool, speak with the Library’s OE Publishing Team, Digital Scholarship Centre or, work with faculty or central support units or with organizations such as Wikimedia that can support these projects.

Tools and Technologies

Finding tools that can be used for open teaching can be challenging. A great first step is to consider centrally supported platforms such as the Library’s OE Publishing Services.  Be sure to check out “Choosing the right tools and technology” page as you determine your next steps. 

Sources and Additional Reading

Sources

The content of this section is a compiled from various open resources:

  1. BCcampus (2020), OER: Trial by COVID-19, Retrieved from: https://bccampus.ca/2020/05/14/oer-trial-by-covid-19/ 
  2. Christiansen, E., & McNutt, K. (2016). ABOER Starter Kit. Retrieved from: albertaoer.com licensed under a CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  3. University of Alberta Library, Open Educational Resources Libguide, Retrieved from: https://guides.library.ualberta.ca/open-educational-resources

Additional Resources

  1. Loglo, Frank Senyo (2020), Moving Open Educational Resources from fringes to mainstream; an unintended consequence of Covid-19 pandemic, retrieved from: https://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/moving-open-educational-resources-from-fringes-to-mainstream-an-unintended-consequence-of-covid-19-pandemic/ 
  2. Coolidge, Amanda (2020), Open in a time of COVID-19 (video), retrieved from: https://video.bccampus.ca/media/Kaltura+Capture+recording+-+May+13th+2020%2C+10A27A40+am/0_7q1mpje2 
  3. Christiansen, E., & McNutt, K. (2016). ABOER Starter Kit. Retrieved from: albertaoer.com 
  4. OER Libguide, University of Alberta Library, guides.library.ualberta.ca/open-educational-resources

Templates

Course Design Plan (Template)

This Course Design Plan (Template) has been designed to help you to plan your course effectively by identifying connections between your learning outcomes, your teaching strategies (implementation) and your assessments of learning. For support using the course design plan, please contact ctl@ualberta.ca or visit request to arrange a consultation.

eClass Template

CTL has built an example eClass course which demonstrates one possible approach instructors can take to set up their course. CTL has also provided downloadable template along with instructions about how to install it into eClass. It is recommended you install this template into a blank course or your eClass sandbox. The template is similar to the example course. However, some informational text and video examples have been removed for ease of use.

Using the Syllabus Creation and Mapping Tool in eClass

Instructors can generate course syllabi using a custom tool within their eClass courses. Learn about the using the Syllabus Creation and Mapping Tool here.

Library Reading Lists
Library Reading List Service

Engaging Your Students with Online Readings: New Library Tool!
The library is launching a new tool for online reading lists of course materials. Learn about how faculty and instructors can:

  • create reading lists
  • embed readings and links to licensed resources in eClass courses
  • request items for purchase
  • use analytics for insights into student engagement

... all through one system! CJ and Kim will walk you through the basics of registering for the service, creating a list and embedding the list in your eClass course. You'll be up and running in no time!

Course Design Rubric

The Course Design Rubric will help you to reflect on the design of your online course to ensure EDI and design principles are incorporated. You can print the document or you can complete it online. It is recommended you open this file with Adobe Reader in order to make best use of this document’s functionality.