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Creating and Modifying Open Educational Resources: Module 3

Platforms and Hosting


In order to create an easily shareable open resource, you need it to be easily accessible to everyone. Platforms are the ways to create a resource, and hosting is making a resource available to everyone on the Internet. Some platforms provide hosting, and some platforms and hosting options are exclusive from each other.

Our Platforms for Hosting and Creation page provides a list of some of the best platform and hosting options to USG faculty. This module will divide some of these options by the type of actions you are taking to create and host a resource:

1. Creating a resource offline and uploading it to a hosting service

If you create OER on your own computer through platforms like word processors (Word, LibreOffice), presentation software (Keynote, PowerPoint), or art and layout platforms (InDesign, Illustrator, Blender, GIMP), these platforms do not make it possible to immediately share these files on a permanently-hosted and sustainable place easily. You will need an alternative option for hosting. Hosting services for files created offline include:

  • Institutional Repositories, such as the ones included in the Georgia Knowledge Repository
  • LibGuides, a guide platform that allows uploading for up to 5 MB
  • MERLOT Content Builder, a free and open site/course creator platform that allows uploading for up to 10 MB
  • OER Commons OpenAuthor, a free and open site/course creator platform that allows uploading for up to 20 MB
  • Google Drive allows you to share documents publicly, although you will need to find a place for the link.
  • Campus websites, which offer a quick way to upload files through a content management system (CMS)
    • This is a less sustainable method of hosting, as campus websites are often not built for sustainability.
2. Creating a resource online using a platform for both creation and hosting

There are some free and paid ways to create OER through an online platform and have them hosted using the same platform:

Free:

  • MERLOT Content Builder is a place to both create new public, web-based OER and host files from your own computer.
  • OER Commons OpenAuthor, like Content Builder, features both creation and external file hosting.
  • LibGuides is available through every USG library, and features creation and file hosting tools.
  • WikiBooks contains wiki-based adaptable open textbooks, and a way to create new wiki textbooks on their site.
  • OpenStax CNX is a sophisticated platform that requires some knowledge of XML in order to create Web-viewable OER. An upgrade will allow further editing on the website itself.

Paid:

  • PressBooks uses WordPress as a platform to publish open textbooks in multiple formats. There is a one-time charge to make your OER available in these formats.
  • SoftChalk Cloud uses the SoftChalk desktop platform but allows your works to be published in their open and public SoftChalk Repository.

Reflection:

1. Test out at least one free platform. Does this platform lend you enough tools to successfully provide open course content?

2. Chemistry experts and UC Davis have created their own wiki textbook hub, ChemWiki. What academic disciplines would benefit most from having a wiki-based open textbook?

Proceed to Module 4