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Overview of existing OER toolkits

Page history last edited by Anna Gruszczynska 11 years, 8 months ago




Towards an overview of existing OER toolkits/ tools relevant for C-SAP OER project




This page looks at existing examples of toolkits/ stand alone tools which have been developed in the context of various OER projects world-wide. We hope this overview will provide inspiration and food for thought when it comes to developing a toolkit for the C-SAP OER project.


You are more than welcome to comment and/or contribute to the following resources:





Toolkits developed in the context of OER projects



Comments on format, content, etc.

OER Africa – “Understanding OER”




The toolkit consists of a collection of useful links related to Copyright and licensing and Materials development. The site is also a repository for Downloadable research reports and case studies.

Open Courseware consortium




According to the authors, this toolkit is an “Initiative which is, in fact, more like a shed containing a number of different toolkits to meet different types of OCW needs”. There are links to a number of resources addressing issues connected with open courseware, such as selecting OCW-related software, relating OCW to pedagogy, IPR and accessibility issues etc. There is also a repository for the initiative’s work in progress.

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources


The initiative was established in July 2007 by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (FHDA). The toolkit consists of a  collection of links to resources, called “self-paced tutorials”, including links to webinars, podcasts and similar other projects. Overall, the focus is on “open textbooks”.

ICT-in-Education Toolkit




ICT-in-Education Toolkit provides education policy makers, planners and practitioners with a systematic process to formulate, plan and evaluate education development programs enhanced by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The Toolkit contains six toolboxes - a total of 19 tools - that provide interactive instruments and step-by-step guidelines which assist users in implementing and evaluating  ICT-Enhanced Content.

Nugget Developer Guidance Toolkit

[Part of the JISC/NSF funded DialogPlus project]


The guidance toolkit aims to provide an online environment that guide and supports practitioners as they create, modify, and share learning activities and resources. The software uses embedded nugget taxonomy as a language for specifying components of a nugget. Practitioners map out a 'design' of a learning activity using selections from the nugget taxonomy and supported in the form of adaptive guidance from the system.



The toolkit contains the following resources:

  • a step-by-step guide for practitioners related to  the development of learning activities
  • a database of existing (reusable) learning activities and examples of good practice 
  • a mechanism for abstracting good practice and metamodels for e-learning.

BCCampus; Canada




BCcampus is a web-based gateway for online learning resources.

The toolkit contains a repository of learning resources developed by BC public post-secondary institutions.

OER stories




This is a collection of case studies (in the format of a wiki) of how institutions and individuals have developed or used OER and is primarily a resource for awareness raising activities.

KEEP [The Knowledge Exchange Exhibition and Presentation Toolkit]


The KEEP Toolkit is a set of web-based, open-source tools that help teachers, students and institutions quickly create compact and engaging knowledge representations on the Web. Contains a database of resources, a community forum and a showcase of examples. However, while it is possible to browse resources, it is no longer possible to register as a user – project is no longer live.



This website, maintained at http://www.qedoc.org, is a learning object repository, documentation centre and forum for author collaboration. The toolkit is in the form of wiki with a Qedoc software suite. Its main components are currently:

  • Qedoc Quiz Maker - a desktop application for making quizzes and interactive educational materials.
  • Qedoc Quiz Player - a desktop application for playing back quizzes and interactive educational materials.

Introduction to Open Educational Resources Toolkit [Part of Open.Mich initiative]




The toolkit is  in the form of a website (a collection of hyperlinked documebnts and videos) addressed at faculty and instructors who are interested in learning about open educational resources. As part of the toolkits, three self-guided modules have been developed (complete with self-assessment quizzes):

  • How to Design OER : Focusing on the Educational Core of OER
  • How to Ensure that Your OER is Open
  • How to Establish an OER Program at Your Institution



Potentially interesting stand-alone tools



Comments on format, content, etc.

Ideas Bank Widget




The widget is part of Politics and International Studies Ideas Bank. Its output is a collection of bite size examples of innovation in learning and teaching (it is not accessible from the website for re-use, however, as this is a C-SAP initiative access should not be a problem).

Wayfaring: Stingy Scholar's University Podcasts, Webcasts & OCWs




The website, http://www.wayfaring.com/, is a social networking application which allows the user to cerate personalised maps.

Lola Editorial Reviewers Guide

 (Learning Objects, Learning Activities)




The LOLA project at Wesleyan college is an institutional repository of learning objects. The tool is an interesting outline of reviewer’s procedures and could inform the process of evaluation for C-SAP OER project.

Scholar's Box [part of UC Berkeley Interactive University]




The  Scholar's Box aims to help educators integrate the digital cultural objects available from museums and libraries into their teaching. The software (currently a prototype) allows users to search for and gather images from multiple repositories, to sequence and annotate the images, and then to generate a variety of products from these images (e.g., HTML albums, slideshows, PDFs, METS documents, SCORM-encoded learning objects).

Examples of tools/ toolkits developed in the context of JISC projects*



Comments on format, content, etc.

BIOPEL – Biology of Pain (part of JISc ReProduce project)




This project developed an interactive e-based module focused on the biology of pain. An animated resource has been produced for a module allowing an in-depth exploration of the biology of pain: http://www.visualization.org.uk/pain/pain.html 

BL4ACE Blended Learning 4 Academic Competence and Critical Enquiry (part of JISc ReProduce project)




As part of the outputs from the project the team have written up a number of their activities during the repurpose process. These are presented as four individual case-studies.

Mosaic (part of JISc ReProduce project)




Mosaic was a project to develop the online course, ‘Ancestral voices: the earliest English literature’. The project also developed guidelines for authors and a case study, to disseminate the lessons learned both within the University and to the wider HE community.


[The copyright advice & support project for JISC e-learning resources]




The toolkit consist of the following tools:

Beyond current horizons


The Beyond Current Horizons programme explores the potential futures for education that might emerge at the intersection of social and technological change over the coming two decades. Its purpose is to map out current and emerging socio-technical trends, the critical uncertainties in our understanding of future socio-technical developments, and the challenges or opportunities that such developments might offer to educators.



The toolkit consists of free online resources to support long-term planning in education, based around a “vision mapper” http://www.visionmapper.org.uk/, which contains activities and ideas, resource packs and case studies/ scenarios, adaptable elarning space workshop cards.



CUREE [Centre for Research and Evidence in Education]


CUREE supports practice-driven action research, develop tools for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), for organisational leadership and for teaching and learning



CUREE Route map

http://www.curee-paccts.com/block-content/bubble-map  is a very simple but elegant solution (to a certain extent, follows the design of London tube map). It is a one-page interactive map which points to resources available on the website and complements the A-Z index. The route map tries to answer the following questions:

  • Where can I explore why things do and don’t work/underpinning rationale/theory?
  • Where can I find practitioner friendly research summaries?







 *Most of JISC-funded projects have not developed any sort of formal toolkit or a resource bank – the only deliverable in most cases is the project final report/ a repository of documents related to the project. Furthermore, some existing toolkits are password-protected and are accessible only to members of that particular institution.



For further information, see also new links bookmarked on delicious:  http://delicious.com/aniakg28/toolkit


Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales 

Comments (6)

Àngels Trias i Valls said

at 4:25 pm on Nov 16, 2009

I particularly like the LoLa seven categories. The editorial process has one editor too many (or perhaps an external be included) -the General editor looks like to me more of an administrator/someone that passes onto the section editor (it returns to the section editor but not to the General editor at the end). Equally there could be 2 reviewers, then go to an editor/moderator if discrepancies and then to an external, who assesses the product and the reviewers, perhpas the last is more common in the assessment of residential teachign coursework than the validation of objects, but just to suggest that there are perhpas ways of simplifying the editorial process whilst keeping it rigorous. What do you think?

Àngels Trias i Valls said

at 4:27 pm on Nov 16, 2009

The potential tools are exciting, I would like to see more of them for sure, maybe some of our elements can be phased and have a second phase that once our main task is completed we can look at some materials to use in a second phase through some of these tools, the Schoolar's Box, for example. `A

Àngels Trias i Valls said

at 5:45 pm on Nov 16, 2009

* CUREE is certainly very attractive to me and if we could balance out OA language and disciplinary language (i.e anthropology/sociology/politics) that would be something I would certainly love to try on our own material..I wonder what is the question underlying the map, is it...where do I go next with these objects? and then follow other intersections in the line. It would be good to identify the underlying purpose of each line for our materials.

* I would like to see the Bank, I liike the visualisation in C-SAP and I found it engaging in terms of language.

* I can see potential uses of Wayfaring maps, someone had twitted these this morning, I could re-use these to map out fieldwork locations but this is one of the tools where people tend to be literal about it -it is a map- rather than conceptual about it -the Tube map-, so in that sense I still prefer Curee.

Àngels Trias i Valls said

at 5:46 pm on Nov 16, 2009

* The visonmaper is attractive but its language would look alien to users that are discipline-centered. After I found the examples -activities- however it started helping me to think about how I could use those activities in other encounters with students, and in that it had a great re-usability potential. It reminded me of the handbook of 1001 tips for lecturers but I thought a fenomenal amount of work had got into it and there were really useful things to use and re-use in my own classes. I think these are very good for things like study skills and teaching how to manage the teaching experience. Giving indication, in our toolking of how to manage the teaching experience may be something worth doing -the vision maper for me would be more one aspect in the tube line that a full development toolkit.

* Biopel was direct, the links were quick, you could find everthing quickly and these were useful things to watch to, it would need elements of the previous ones, maybe a wiki of of how to use these, and how to re-use these? that you could use as quickly as the visualisations of pain itself.

Àngels Trias i Valls said

at 5:46 pm on Nov 16, 2009

* CUREE is very good, I certainly would like to use it. I feel the lines (or at least one line) could engage with the language of the discipline (in terms of making sense of the pedagogical direction of the material) and also to engage the user more. The language of most of the tools, including the Ancestral voices, use too much OA language and I think it is important that the user recognises the discipline first and then gradually acquires the OA language. Ancestral voices is perhaps over linked, it takes very long time to link to further links. That's why I really like the map, because it can help us visualise where to go in addition to taking us there.

* Bla4ace works very well as a wiki and the example of re-usable object attracts your attention, it is too long to read. I meant to say something in relation to our own toolkin, in the toolkit box, a great thing we have is that it is clear, the descriptions are suscint and easy to follow. They are not too long and there has been some editorial process to synthethise things that for me, works very well. So far, the C_SAP OER toolkit use I have seen Darren and other produce is shorter, clearer than let's say, the long BLa4ace blog-like page.

Àngels Trias i Valls said

at 5:46 pm on Nov 16, 2009

Having looked these above, some in more detail than others, for me the issue is in distinghising -or having levels of distinction- between creating a toolkit that informs about the OER process in OER language and a toolkit that is able to inform about OER for people who do not use OER language, and specially for teachers/lecturers a toolkit that embeds the discipline language so if they are not familiar with OER they will still able to recognise or feel an affinity towards the toolkit -which should aid in facilitating their use and engagement with it.

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