Lynn Ann Wiscount, Vince Mariner, Erin Halovanic
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Adult Education
Creative Commons, OER, POWER Library, PowerLibrary, creative-commons, oer, powerlibrary
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:

Open Educational Resources and OER Commons

Open Educational Resources and OER Commons


This lesson plan walks students through the copyright licenses and open educational resources.  Students will learn how to author resources using the OER Commons platform, align them to standards, and evaluate them using the Achieve Rubrics.

Lesson Summary

Instructor Notes:

Complete list of websites can be found in the Resouce Library. This list can be provided to your technical staff to ensure links are allowed through the school filters.

Overall Assessment Rubric: A rubric has been provided that can be used to assess the teamwork, participantion and behavior of the students.  This rubric is available in the Resource Library.  A copy of the rubric can be provided to the students so they know what is expected of them during this lesson.

Open educational resources (OER) are publicly accessible materials that are licensed as public domain or in such a way that they can be used, re-mixed, improved upon, and redistributed.  OERs can be full courses, lesson plans, open textbooks, openly licensed videos, software, images, or other materials that can be used to support education and increase knowledge.

OER Commons is a website that contains a digital library of open educational resources (OER).  It was created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) to help educators discover and create open educational resources.  These resources can be download for free and educators can modify them as they are needed.  Currently there are over 50,000 educational resources available on the site with new resources being created by the member community daily. 

In addition to the plethora of resources, with can be searched and filtered by a multitude of fields, OER Commons contains modules which will allow you to align a resource to the common core or state standard, evaluate resources using the Achieve OER rubrics, or add to the collection by creating your own open educational content.

In this lesson, you will learn about:

  • Intellectual property and copyright licenses
  • Preparing and creating a lesson plan for OER Commons
  • Creating lessons using OER Commons Open Author module
  • Publishing your OER Commons resources
  • Aligning lessons to state and common core standards
  • Using and understanding the Achieve OER rubrics

Upon completion of this lesson, students will know/be able to….

  • Identify the rights and restrictions granted by the various Creative Commons licenses
  • Understand the components required to create a lesson plan
  • Create a lesson plan using the OER Commons Lesson Plan template
  • Be able to navigate OER Commons to curate resources
  • Understand and apply the ACHIEVE Rubrics to OER Resources
  • Understand and apply state, local and national standards to a resource in OER Commons.
  • Develop their own resources using the Open Author platform in OER Commons
  • Understand the process of publishing resources to the OER Commons platform.

Intellectual Property and Copyright Licenses

Instructor Notes:

Pre Lesson Activity: Before you begin this activity, have a group discussion on what resources are used in the classroom, around the school or in the library. Using post-it notes, an easel pad, or an electronic note taking program such as Evernote or OneNote, record the names of the resources to use later in the lesson.  The activity responses will be used to complete the second activity in this section.  Participants can also be asked to bring a list with them for this activity.

A help guide can be found in the Resource Library for searching in Creative Commons.

Assessment: The students will complete a true/false, matching, and multiple choice assessment on the terminology of the Open Movement, OER Commons, and the Creative Commons Licenses.  The correct responses to this assessment are available in the OER/CC Assessment Answers document.

Additional Activities: The OER Remix game can be used as an additional activity to check for understanding of the Creative Commons Licensing.  This educational game is a deck of cards that allows the players to explore the open content licenses.  These cards can be used to play multiple games.  Instructions on each game and the link to download the card deck can be found at OER Remix game.

Pre-Activity Directions:

  • Discuss, as a group, what resources are used within your classroom, around your school or in your library.  
  • Create a list using post-it notes, an easel pad, an electronic note taking program.  This list of programs will be used later in this lesson.


First used in 1769, intellectual property, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as “property that derives from the work of the mind or intellect”.   It is protected by federal and state laws and can include items such as writings, music, drawings, painting, photography, and films.  There are various types of intellectual property laws that are relevant in the permission process.  They include:

  • Copyright
  • Patent
  • Trademark
  • Trade Secrets

    In most cases when creative works are involved, we are concerned primarily with copyright laws. However, trademarks, and other intellectual property permissions may come into play when permission to use a certain type of work is sought.

    Copyright law is used to protect a creator’s work, time, and effort.  It provides the owner the exclusive right to:

    • Reproduce the work
    • Prepare “derivative works”
    • Distribute copies of the work by sale, lease, or other transfer of ownership
    • Perform the work publicly
    • Display the work publicly

    Within the copyright law, educators have the option of fair use.  The fair use exception allows parts of a copyrighted work to be used without the permission of the owner.  Activities that are normally deemed fair use include:

    • Nonprofit educational use
    • Criticism and commentary
    • News reporting
    • Research and scholarship
    • Parody

    Even with fair use, educators may only be able to use a portion of the entire resource.  Linked to this section is a quick reference on Fair Use Guideline for Teachers which may come in handy when you need to figure out what portion of a copyrighted resource can be used. Because limits do not allow you to use the entire resource, public domain and creative commons licensing becomes extremely helpful for locating quality content that can be used within the classroom.

    Activity Directions:

    • This activity requires a copy of the Resource Worksheet found in the Document Library.
    • Replicate the resource names, from the initial group discussion, onto the Resource Worksheet in the Resource Name column.  
    • Determine the copyright of each resource and record your findings in the License Type column of the Resource Worksheet.

      You may have noticed that most of the resources you use currently are copyright protected.  If they are “free” today, they may be restricted from use sometime in the future or may require a usage free.  These resources also cannot be modified, adapted or redistributed with permission from the copyright holder.

      Open educational resources (OER) solve these issues. OERs are teaching and learning resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing.  This provides educators the ability to adapt the resources based on individual needs. It also ensures that the resources you are using are up to date. OER resources are clearly tagged or marked as being in the public domain or having an “open license”.  Let us look at these licenses in more detail.

      Public Domain is applied to any creative work in which no exclusive intellectual property permission is applied.  The rights may have expired or been expressly waived. In addition, some creative works may not be covered by copyright, therefore they automatically fall into public domain.  Public domain materials are freely available to the public and carry no restrictions on the use of the materials.  Some common websites to get public domain material include:

      Anything that is in the public domain will have the copyright license of CC0.  This means that the items can be used and modified, and you do not have to attribute the original owner.  Resources may also be marked with one of the public domain licensing icons below.

      Icons that represent material is copyrighted with a Public Domain license.
      Icons that represent material is copyrighted with a Public Domain license.

      Activity Directions:

      Open licensed materials fall in between copyright and public domain. Open licenses allow the creator of the content to release some of their copyright permissions.  These resources are licensed in a manner that provides the user free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R Framework defined by David Wiley.

      5 R's of OER
      Image of David Wiley’s 5R Framework.
      Graphic from Licensed under
      the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

      Some of the most widely used open licensing platforms are Creative Commons and GNU General Public Licenses.

      There are six (6) main Creative Commons licenses that are based on four (4) conditions.  The four (4) conditions of a Creative Commons license includes:

      The four conditions of Creative Commons
      Conditions from used under the
      Creative Common Attribution 4.0 International License.

      The six (6) copyright licenses offered by Creative Commons are based on the four (4) conditions outlined above.  These six (6) licenses include:

      Chart of six copyright licenses offered by Creative Commons
      Licenses from used under the
      Creative Common Attribution 4.0 International License.

      To help you understand the Creative Commons licenses, we have provided a Creative Commons Licensing Quick Reference in the Resource Library.

      The GNU General Public License or GFDL is primarily used for software. It is a free copyleft license.  Users can change and share versions of a software program licensed this way. This license aligns with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

      Due to the philosophy of the 5R permissions of OER, items that you discover with a Creative Commons license that includes no derivatives are not considered to be true OER resources since you cannot remix and share them.

      So where do you locate OERs? Repositories are available on the Internet for locating OER resources.  Some of these repositories include:

      Activity Directions:

      • Be prepared to discuss with the class what you discovered, what license the resources has, and how you can use it within your classroom.


      Section Assessment Directions:

      • Complete the questions on the OER_CC Assessment found in the Resource Library.


          Preparing A Lesson Plan For OER Commons

          Instructor Notes:

          A SMART Goals handout is available in the Resource Library.

          If participants do not want to complete the entire template, they can use it to record notes for each area which can then be used in the next section to add the resource to the OER Commons web site.

          Assessment: The assessment for this section will be based on the participants ability to complete the OER Commons Lesson Plan Template.

          Experienced teachers understand that a lesson plan is used as a daily step-by-step guide for what they will be teaching their students.  It also contains what resources you will be using and how the progress of the students will be measured. It does not matter if you use pencil and paper, or a computer program to create the lesson, each lesson should contain specific components.  These key parts include:

          • Goal & Objectives
          • Standards Alignment
          • Materials
          • Procedures
          • Formative Assessments
          • Reflections

          Let us look at each of these individually.

          Goal & Objectives

          A goal provides directions for the lesson.  It is generally not measurable and very generic. It can be used as the lesson overview to tell someone about the lesson.  Once the generic goal has been created, you will need to break it down into more detailed objectives (also called competencies). The objectives should align to the state, local, and national standards for your school. Students should be able to use these objectives to monitor their own learning progress.  The objectives should be created using the SMART model which means they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.

          As you write the objectives for your lesson, start by asking the following questions.

          1. Is the objective specific?
          2. Can the objective be measured?
          3. Is the objective attainable by all students?  Can it be adjusted for Differentiated Instruction or personalized learning?
          4. Is the objective relevant for all students?
          5. Can the objective be completed in a specific amount of time?

          Will it align to the class syllabus?All objects should start with an action word. When action words are included in the objective, it becomes a painless process ensuring that the students have met their objective goal. These action words will change based on the type of lesson objective.  An introductory lesson may use the action word define whereas an advanced lesson may use the action word create. For example, an introductory objective may be “Students will define the buttons on the Microsoft Word Ribbon” whereas and advanced objective may be “Students will create their own Microsoft Word Ribbon Toolbar”. A list of action words, provided in the Resource Library, can be helpful when creating your objectives.

          Standards Alignment

          Once you have identified your objectives, it is now time to align them to required local, state, and national standards. Depending on your institution, you may also have to align them to a certification. Placing the standards directly into the lesson plan provides a quick way of showing you are meeting all requirements. When aligning the standards, it is advisable to always use the exact verbiage so you can continue to focus on the outcome.

          Materials & Equipment List

          This section of a lesson plan is a summary of all the items you need to teach the lesson. It ensures that you do not forget to sign-out a computer cart or copy a handout. It is basically the to-do list of items that need to be completed before you begin the lesson.  You will need to include items such as:

          • Student Handouts
          • Textbooks / Reference Books
          • Worksheets / Graphic organizers / Infographics
          • Computers / Tablets / Presentation devices
          • Websites / Online Activities
          • Rubrics / Quizzes / Tests

          This summary will change with the procedures in your lesson plan. For example, will you be handing out a paper quiz or will that quiz be assigned via Google Classroom? Since this is closely related to the procedures in your lesson, it is advisable to complete this in conjunction with your lesson procedures.


          This is the bulk of the lesson plan.  It contains the step-by-step instructions you will need to teach the lesson to your students.  Think of this are the detailed instructions you would provide a substitute instructor. As you begin to determine what steps your procedure will include, ask yourself the following questions:

          • How will I introduce the topic?
          • Do you have a specific strategy or technique that will work best for this topic?
          • What activities do you want to incorporate into the procedure? Are they individualized, group or divided by stations?
          • Are there any project-based, critical thinking, or problem-solving activities you can include?
          • Does it relate to real-life?  Can I show how?

          Formative Assessments

          This section can be used as a way of evaluating student learning.  They can be quizzes, games, hands-on activities, group presentation, or projects.  A mixture of these assessments can be used on a regular basis to keep your students engaged. Some examples of these assessments can be found on the Edutopia.


          Reflections can be divided into student reflections and teacher reflections.

          The student reflection is used by the student so they can document what part of the lesson resonated with then.  They can analyze what they learned and why they think it is a relevant component of their learning.  They can also reflect on any group participation or ways they plan to expand their knowledge.

          Instructor reflections are used as an observation of the success of a lesson plan.  These are completed at the conclusion of the lesson plan.  Once the reflection is completed, updates need to be made to the plan, so it is ready for the next time.

          When it comes time to reflect on the lesson, ask yourself the following questions:

          • Did I allow enough time for the lesson?
          • What part of the lesson did the students have difficulty with?  Do I need to make changes?
          • Did the students stay engaged with the lesson?
          • Did I meet all the objectives?

          You can use the OER Commons Lesson Plan Template to plan out your lesson, so it becomes easier to add it into OER Commons.  Let us look at where the above components fit into the OER Commons Lesson Plan template.

          The lesson overview / goals on the OER Commons Lesson Plan template is used to provide a summary of what your lesson is about.  It is used as a way of introducing your lesson to users who are searching through OER Commons for materials they can use. In addition to the Lesson Overview, OER Commons will also use the Title, Creator, Subject Area, and Suggest Grade as part of its overview description.

          Even though there are now distinct areas for the objectives, they can be used to help introduce each section of your lesson on the OER Commons platform.   You can include them in the overview, or as part of the teacher instructions within the lesson plan itself.

          When you are entering the lesson plan into OER Commons, there is a module available specifically for aligning to standards.  This module will allow you to align standards based on the following:

          • AASL 21st Century Learner Standards
          • AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians
          • CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards
          • Common Core State Standards
            • English Language Arts
            • Math
          • Next Generation Science Standards
          • Pennsylvania Core Standards
            • English Language Arts
            • Math
          • Pennsylvania Academic Standards
            • Environment and Ecology
            • Science and Technology (2002)
            • Mathematics
            • Business, Computer, and Information Technology
            • Career Education and Work
            • Civics and Government
            • Economics
            • Family and Consumer Sciences
            • Geography
            • Health, Safety & Physical Education
            • History
            • Science and Technology and Engineering Education
          • UNESCO ICT Competency Frameworks

          If you have aligned your lesson to any other standards (ASCA, ISTE, etc.) These will need to be entered into the instructor information in the lesson plan.    The standards area of the OER Common Lesson Plan Template provides an easy way of organizing these items.

          The Procedures area of the lesson plan is where you will spend your time.  This area is broken down into 3 components: Warm Up/Introduction, Research/Explore, and Reinforcement/Creation.

          • Warm-Up/Introductory is used as a way of introducing the topic to the students.  This can be a lecture or video where students take notes, a group discussion on what the class knows about a topic, or an introductory game such as “Guess the Topic”.
          • Research/Explore section can be used as a way of providing additional projects where the student can expand their knowledge by digging deeper into the content or by supplying additional resources where they can practice the skills they have discovered.  Depending how detailed your lesson plan will be, you may need to add additional Research/Explore sections to accommodate the entire plan.
          • Reinforcement/Creation is used as a way of reinforcing the skills or content the student learned about.  This can be a problem-solving or creation-based project where the student can be creative while showing you that they understand the content.  This area can be used for assessing the depth of knowledge of the student.

          Each procedure section has areas for a student view and instructor notes.  When you begin creating your resource on the OER Common website, it is important to note that there are two views.  The main content area in the creation tool is to be used for content that will also be visible to both the student and instructor.  This area can include specific instructions and material that is used for a student handout.  If there are any unique instructions for the instructor, they will be placed in a separate area that only the teacher will see.  The Instructor Notes can be the area where you place any additional standards that cannot be aligned using the standards module r any answers to quizzes or assessment that should not be visible by the student.

          Formative assessments are not required for every activity in a lesson plan, but they may be helpful to check for understanding at the end of each activity. Assessments are a way of showing that the students have learned the content.  They can be completed in class or at home as part of their homework.

          Rubrics can be used as a way of assessing the student.  They are designed in a grid and clearly indicate achievement criteria. Rubrics can be used as a way of showing what components need to be included in a project and how they will be graded.  The grading can be done by the instructor, a peer, or an expert in the content area.  The assessment area also includes a placeholder for a rubric if it used. You can use the OER Commons lesson on Developing Rubrics if you are new to the rubric assessment tool.

          The last required component is for reflections.  The OER Commons Lesson Plan template contains a section for both a student and instructor reflection.  The student reflection is blank and allows you to create a reflection based on the topic.  The teacher reflection is already prepopulated and is there to remind you that you should reevaluate the plan after each use for ways you can be improved.

          Within the OER Commons platform, you also have the opportunity of including an image as part of your lesson overview.  The section labeled “Lesson Plan Image” provides a placeholder for this image.  Since the philosophy of OER is geared toward open, the image should be licenses using a Creative Commons or public domain license.  The lesson plan also includes some suggested websites for locating those images or you can use the Creative Commons Searching Tool that you learned about in Lesson 1.

          The All About the States Lesson Plan, located in the Resource Library,  can be used as an example of what a lesson would look like int the OER Template.

          Activity Directions:

          • Using the OER Commons Lesson Plan template, create a new lesson for your specific content area which aligns to local, state, or national standards. 
          • This lesson plan will be added to the OER Commons portal in the next lesson.
          • As you begin adding resources, make sure you are adhering to the Copyright and Creative Commons licensing permissions.


            Creating Lessons Using OER Commons Open Author Module

            Instructor Notes:

            If you have a class that has not accessed the OER Commons platform, utilize the account creation as another activity in this lesson.

            Assessment: The assessment for this section is based on the student's ability to use the Open Author platform and creating a resource using the material from the OER Commons Lesson Plan from the precious section.


            Now that you have your lesson created, it is time to learn about OER Commons.  Launched in 2007, OER Commons is a website that provides access for over 42,000 vetted and fully indexed open educational resources.  In addition to the growing number of individual authors of open materials, OER Commons has also partnered with hundreds of other institutions and organizations making this one of the best single access points for locating high quality content from across the globe.

            In order to contribute resources to the OER Commons platform, you must have obtained credentials for accessing the site.  If you have not created an account, follow the Account Creation Help Guide  in the Resource Library to create a presence on the OER Commons platform.

            Once your account is set up and you are logged in, you can begin to build your first resource.

              OER Commons uses a module called Open Author for creation of its lesson plans and resources. This module allows for both instructor and student facing views.  Instructors can include overviews, supporting text and step-by-step instructions.

              Activity Directions:

              • Go to the OER Commons main web page and watch the “Introducing Open Author” video under the Create OER with Open Author section.

              To create a new resource:

              • Click on the "Add OER" button at the top of the screen.
              • When the window appears, click on the "Open Author" button.

              The Resource Details screen will appear. This is where you will insert your step by step procedures. The details screen is broken down into seven (7) sections.

              image of Resource Details screen in OER Commons Open Author from the OER Commons website
              Image from the OER Commons website. 
              • Overview information
                • Section 1, Enter the Title/Resource Name.  This will be viewable in the search results when someone searches for content.
                • Section 2, Upload title image.  This is where you will upload the image from the last section of the OER Commons lesson plan template.  This image will appear as part of the lesson plan description in the search results.
              • Section Information (From the Procedures area of your lesson plan template)
                • Section 3, Section Name. This is used to provide a name for the section.  If can be Reflection, Introductory Lesson, etc.
                • Section 4, Main Content.  This is the main content of your lesson or resource.  This is the area that is viewable by students when it is shared with them.
                • Section 5, Attach Resources.  This is the area where you upload your handouts and other materials that supplement your lesson plan.
                • Section 6, Instructor Notes.  This is the area that is used to provide additional information and instructions for educators.
                • Section 7, Insert New Section. Use this button to add additional sections to your resource.

              To Save your resource, click on the "Save" button.  A draft of the resource will be saved in your items.

              Activity Directions:

              • Using the Open Author module on OER Commons, create a new resource using the content from the complete OER Lesson Plan template.
              • Remember to save the resources.
              • Do not publish the resource. 

              We created a resource from scratch using the Open Author module.  If you already have the lesson plan created in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you can import it right into the Main Content area of Open Author.  To learn more about each option, click on the appropriate link.


              Publishing Your OER Commons Resource

              Instructors Notes:

              For the students to locate their resource after they publish it, have them save it BEFORE they select the publish button.  This will place a copy of the resource in their items.

              The tagging activity can also be done by using the word cloud strategy and an online web tool such as Word Clouds or Poll Everywhere

              Assessment: The assessment for this section is based on the student's ability to publish their resource on the OER Commons platform.  The resource should be searchable and viewable as part of the OER Commons respository.  

              Now that you have your step-by-step procedures completed, it is time to publish the resource so other users of the OER Commons platform can find it.  

              When you publish your resource, additional information is needed to help describe and better explain your resource to others.  An OER Submission Details worksheet can be found in the Resource Library to help simplify this process. This worksheet contains all the fields that need to be populated as part of the publishing process.  Required fields are labeled.  All others are optional but would be beneficial for other OER Commons users as they encounter your resource in the search results.

              To publish your resource:

              • Click on the Publish button on the top of the Open Author module.
              • The Describe window will appear.  This window allows you to provide an overview of the lesson and to provide the condition of use.
              image of the Open Author Overview window from OER Commons.
              Image from OER Commons website

              Section 1, The Overview Box is where you will provide the Goal of the lesson.  This box can also include the lesson objectives.

              Section 2, Conditions of Use. You need to decide which type of licenses you will be assigning to your resource.  Each resource in OER Commons has one condition of use/copyright label.  This label allows a user to quickly distinguish if a resource can be shared without further permission.  The licenses in the drop-down align to the Creative Commons licenses and provide additional details on each.  Once the user begins to search for a resource, they are populated using the OER Commons Conditions of Use alignments.  The licenses are aligned as follows:

              OER Commons alignments to the Creative Commons, GNU, and Public Domain Licenses

              OER Commons
              Conditions of Use

              Alignments to Creative Commons / GNU / Public
              Domain Licenses

              No Strings Attached
              • Public Domain
              • Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)
              • Creative Commons Public Domain
              Remix and Share
              • Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (CC-BY-SA)
              • Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NS-SA)
              • Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC)
              • GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL)
              • WGBH Teacher's Domain remix
              Share Only
              • Creative Commons No Derivatives (CC-ND)
              • WGBH Teachers' Domain share
              Read the Fine Print
              • Copyright and usage vary by resource. Always look at the disclaimer and policies of the resource to verify the terms of use.


              Section 3, Preview Image.  The image that appears here is the same image you uploaded when you created the resource in Open Author.  You can change the image one last time.  This is the same image that will appear in the search results of the OER Commons site.

              Section 4, The Help make this discoverable to others area of the publication window contains required fields.  These field correspond to the Subject, Education Levels, and Language area of your OER Submission Details worksheet.  Each of these areas will accept multiple choices, simply keep selecting choices from the drop-down menus.  In addition, you will also be required to select a material type for your resource.  Material type definitions vary depending on the website you are using.  A detailed list of material types for OER Commons can be found by clicking on the what’s this link in the publishing window or be clicking here

              Discoverable area of the description window in Open Author
              Image from OER Commons website


              Fields contained in the Additional Descriptions area are optional.  The most important fields here are the Educational Standards and Keyword fields.

              The Standards field is used to align your resource to the standards that are embedded in the OER Commons platform.  Alignment to the standards is not a requirement at this point.  You can align the resource to the standards once it has been published to the OER Commons site.

              Keywords (also called tags) in OER Commons is the process of attaching an electrionic marker to a resource for categorizing purposes.  Keywords for a resource can be assigned by any user. OER Commons allows you to search for resources based on a keyword/tag thus providing an additional measure for locating a resource.

              When creating resources for the POWER Library, it is advisable to always tag them with the keyword PowerLibrary.

              Activity Directions:

              • In OER Commons, open the Digital Citizenship: Digital Footprint resource. You will notice that the keywords or tags on this resource are Digital Citizenship and Iowa K-12 E-Curriculum.
              • Take a few minutes to examine the lesson. While you are examining the lesson, think of other tags you can attach to this resource to help users locate it quicker.
              • Be prepared to discuss with the class what additional tags you would recommend.

              Once you have all the descriptive fields completed, the next step (Section 5) is the Acknowledgement of use permissions. This check box is used to verify that you have the right to use and share all images, videos and other content included as part of your resource. You are also acknowledging that you have received the original creator’s consent wherever necessary.

              The final step, Section 6, is to click the Publish button. Once you click publish, your resource will be sent to the OER Commons content specialists for review. They will use the following criteria to look at your resource one last time before it goes live in OER Commons. The criteria they look at includes:

              • Educational content clearly supports learning. This can be in any of the following areas: K-12, undergraduate, graduate, vocational, or professional learning.
              • Education content presents a clear context of who the resource is to be used for and how it is to be used to meet learning goals.
              • Education content contains clear learning goals or objectives. It is not mandatory that these goals are aligned to standards.
              • Licensing / Usage Rights are clearly stated.
              • The resource clearly states that content is released under a creative commons license, is within public domain, or is available for non-commercial or educational use.
              • The resources should be openly accessible without creating an account or logging in.
              • The resource is complete.
              • The resources should not require use of commercial software or services.
              • The resource should be easy to use and should direct links to the individual learning resources. OER Commons does not index top pages of databases)
              • For STEM content, the content should have been created or updated within the last 5 years.
              • For General content, the content should have been updated within the last 7 years.
              • If you resource requires the use of any software or browser applications, those applications should be supported in modern operating systems and browsers.

              Activity Directions:

              • Using the OER Submission Details worksheet, complete the appropriate fields pertaining to the draft resource you created in the OER Commons Open Author module.
              • Once you have completed the worksheet, begin the publishing process by adding that information into the OER Commons platform.
              • Align your resource to the appropriate standards.
              • Add the appropriate keywords and tagging.
              • Publish your completed lesson so it is visible by all users on the OER Commons Platform.

              Congratulations! Your resource should now be discoverable to every user on the OER Commons platform.


              Aligning Lessons to State and Common Core Standards

              Instructor Notes:

              Instructors may want to demo this before assigning the assessment.

              Remind students that they need to be logged in to align a resource to standards.

              Assessment: The assessment for this section is based on the student's ability to align a resource on the OER Commons platform to the Pennsylvania Core or Pennsylvania Academic Standards.  This resource should have be created by someone other than the student and located using the searching tools of the OER Commons platform.

              Standards are aligned when you publish resources in OER Commons using the Open Author module.  But what happens if you find a resource you want to use in your classroom, and it is not aligned to Pennsylvania Core or Academic standards?  The OER Commons platform allows you to align any resource with the standards that are embedded within the website.    Being able to align the resource to standards increases the value of the resource for future users.

              You need to log into your OER Commons account to align standards.  To add a standard:

              • Select the resource you would like to align
              • Click the Align link to begin the alignment.
              • Using the Education Standard drop down menu, select one of the standards from the list provided.
              • Continue making selections from the drop-down menus as they appear.
              • When you are finished, you will see a preview of the selected tag.  If it is correct, click the Add Selected Tag button to attach the standard to the online resource.
              • You can continue adding standards by repeating this process.

              Activity Directions:

              • Using the searching capabilities in the OER Commons platform, locate a lesson plan that can be used for your subject / content area.
              • Make sure it is not already aligned to any Pennsylvania Standards.
              • Examine the resource to make sure it is a viable resource for your students and to verify that it correlates to the standards for your content area.
              • Using the standards alignment module, align the resource to the Pennsylvania Core or Pennsylvania Academic Standards.



                Using and Understanding the Achieve OER Rubrics

                Instructor Notes:

                The first activity is using the Jigsaw strategy.  You can adjust, as necessary.

                Assessment: The students will complete a multiple choice assessment on the OER Rubrics. The correct responses to this assessment are available in the Rubric Assessment Answers document

                Achieve, in collaboration with the OER community, has developed eight (8) rubrics to help users determine the quality of instructional resources.  These evaluation tools are hosted and available on the OER Commons platform for users to evaluate the quality of the resources they discover.

                OER resources can be evaluated based on:

                • Rubric I: Degree of Alignment to Standards
                • Rubric II: Quality of Explanation of Content
                • Rubric III: Utility of Materials as Tools to Teach Others
                • Rubric IV: Quality of Assessment
                • Rubric V: Degree of Interactivity
                • Rubric VI: Quality of Practice Exercises
                • Rubric VII: Opportunities for Deeper Learning
                • Rubric VIII: Assurance of Accessibility

                Activity Directions:

                • Your instructor will assign you a number from 1 to 7.  Once you have been assigned your number, you will read the section of Rubrics for Evaluating Open Education Resource (OER) Objects that corresponds to the number you have been assigned.  You will also view the slides in the appropriate PowerPoint.
                • Your instructor will break your class down into small groups based in the rubric they learned about.  This group will then be the “Expert Group” of that rubric.
                • Each expert group will develop a plan to talk about the process and details of the rubric they learned about. The "expert group" will then teach the other students about the rubric they were assigned.

                Rubric VIII, which is not part of the OER Commons evaluation module, is used to assure materials are accessible to all students.  This rubric does not ask reviewers to make a judgment on the quality. Instead a yes/no determination is made depending on the degree to which the materials area accessible.  This rubric is to be used by only those individuals that can make judgements about accessibility of an object.

                To use the rubrics in OER Commons, click the Evaluate button on the resource you would like to evaluate.  The OER Commons on Guideline and Reminders will appear for you to read.  When you want to start evaluating the rubric, click the Start Evaluating button.  Watch the Virtual Tour of the OER Rubrics and Evaluation Tool for a demo of evaluating a resource.

                Activity Directions:

                • Using the searching capabilities in the OER Commons platform, locate a lesson plan that can be used for your subject / content area. 
                • Examine the resource to make sure it is a viable resource for your students.
                • Using the Achieve OER Rubrics and the evaluation module in OER Commons, evaluate the resource.  Please keep in mind that the creator of the resource as well as all OER Commons users will be able to see your evaluation once it is completed.

                Since the evaluation of resources can be done by any OER Commons users, it is advisable to periodically log into and look at the resources you have created. Other members may have evaluated your resource, thus providing invaluable feedback for updating the quality of your resource.

                In addition to the Achieve OER Rubrics, feedback can also be received through comments and star ratings left on your resources.

                Section Assessment Directions:

                • Complete the questions on the Rubric Assessment found in the Resource Library.


                    Instructor Reflection:

                    Reflect on the Lesson Plan and document what worked for you, what did not work for you, and what you would change for the next time you use this lesson.

                    Activity Directions:

                    Using the Open Educational Resources Lesson Reflection handout, reflect on the following questions:

                    1. What have I learned about this topic?
                    2. What surprosed me about this topic?
                    3. What interested me the most?
                    4. What did I find most difficult?