Getting Started with OER

Explore eCampus Ontario’s Open Library Portal of openly licensed post-secondary level Open Educational Resources to think about your next steps.

  1. Is there an available openly licensed textbook you can use as-is? Review it and consider its relevance, accuracy, style and layout.
  2. If you decide to use an existing open textbook provide a link to it in OnQ or another platform where your students can access it. You can also download it as a PDF, MS Word file, or eBook.
  3. Request a Pressbooks Account, for Queen’s Open Textbook authoring platform

To learn about the resources and support available to you at Queen’s, email an Open Scholarship specialist.

Customize an Open Textbook

All textbooks in the Open Library Portal allow re-use and customization by other educators.

  1. Plan your customizations by outlining timelines, resource needs and specific customizations you want to make 
  2. Make your customizations:
    1. Login to Pressbooks and find the book you wish to customize
    2. Clone it by selecting ‘My Catalog’ and ‘Clone a book’
    3. Match the style and layout of the existing textbook and keep a record of the changes you make
    4. Provide correct attribution to the original creator(s)
  3. Re-license your new textbook using an appropriate Creative Commons License
  4. Distribute the link to your students. Pressbooks provides exportable file formats including .xml, .odt, .html, .epub and .mobi
  5. Assess the impact by building feedback mechanisms to evaluate the impact of your textbook on your teaching and student learning experience

Create an Open Textbook

Start an Open Textbook by following these steps:

  1. Draft a project plan, outlining timelines, resource needs and key milestones
    1. Conceptualize by outlining the structure, chapters and parts of your textbook
    2. Find openly licensed content to customize
    3. Seek editorial support
  2. Find peer reviewers and provide reviewer guidelines
  3. Re-license, distribute and assess your new text; please see steps 4, 5 and 6 under Customize an Open Textbook


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For help locating resources, using the library, or to request a research consultation, try our Ask Us service.

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