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Open Educational Resources (OER): ADAPT

Adapting OER 

Adapting OER means making changes to already existing open content (Revise and Remix).  It can be as basic as editing the content so as to customize it to your needs (Revise) or finding other OER content that you can combine and integrate with the original OER content (Remix).

Adapting is really where the strength and beauty of OER comes into play because it allows you to tailor content to the specific needs of your course.  The flexibility of revising and remixing OER  will also provide an easy way for course content to remain up to date or be modified whenever faculty decide to make changes to their course objectives.  

Step 1. Finding OER

Set aside some time to search and review the OER material.  Begin by thinking about the learning objectives for your course. Instead of focusing on the textbook or course material you want to replace, focus on what you would like students to learn. 

There are several OER repositories, however, we highly recommend that you use SUNY OER Services first since they can provide assistance with integrating and implementing content into the LMS.  

Begin your search with SUNY's OER Course Catalog

If you don't find anything there, then try searching Lumen Learning's Course Catalog

What if I didn't find anything? 

If you didn't find anything in either SUNY OER or Lumen Learning's course catalog then explore some of the other options provided under the Other OER Repositories tab or OER by Discipline tab. 

Step 2. Check the license

It is important to determine what Creative Commons license the content is published under since this will tell you what permissions you have and how to attribute the adapted version if you decide to redistribute it for others to also use and adapt.  Creative Commons is a wonderful thing but it can be confusing at first.  Use the Creative Commons tab on this guide to get started.  If you still have questions then contact Carleen Huxley at chuxley@sunyjefferson.edu or x2402.  

Step 3. What file format is the content available in?

More often than not, OER content will come in a variety of editable formats.  These include:

  • Pressbooks or Wordpress files (.xml or .wxr)
  • HTML files (webpages)
  • Word document (.docx) or OpenDocument Text (.odt)
  • Simple text files (.txt)
  • EPUB
  • LaTeX files (if the original book includes math or science formulas and questions)

Depending on how comfortable you are with technology you may want to start by finding OER content that is available as a Word document or Simple text file.  Pressbooks or Wordpress files can be imported and edited if using a Pressbook or a Wordpress blog to publish your OER content.  If you are planning to adapt Open SUNY course content or Lumen Learning course content, then Pressbooks, Wordpress and EPUB files can be used. 

Step 4. Staying organized and keeping track of your resources

Use this OER Mapping Template to help you keep track of your open content resources and how you plan to integrate them into your course.  

Step 5.  Adding a Creative Commons license

Your final step when adapting OER is to apply a Creative Commons license to your adapted version.  When you adapt open content you are usually combining a variety of Creative Commons licenses.  In order to appropriately apply a new license to your adapted version, you will need to understand which Creative Commons licenses are compatible with each other. You can find a better explanation of how to combine licenses, along with a compatibility chart at the following link:

Compatibility of Creative Commons License 

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Modifying an Open Textbook: What you need to know