1 A guide to finding, creating and evaluating for OER

Amy Sellers and Lisa Grbin


This resource has been created by Deakin librarians for pre-service teachers. We want you to create, share and celebrate the excellent resources you create and be able to talk about the skills and knowledge that you hone along the way. Learn how to:

  • Search like a librarian
    • Know where to find open access primary and secondary history sources
  • Evaluate like a historian
    • Apply historical thinking strategies to evaluate what you find
  • Create and be resourceful like a teacher
    • Choose appropriate sources for use/adapt for use with your students and be aware of a range of digital tools to create learning activities and that your students can use to express their knowledge
    • Understand your copyright responsibilities, how you can ethically use the work of others and how you can create and license your own work under creative commons
  • Appease your accreditation overlords
    • Be able to articulate how all of these new/polished skills and knowledge show your teaching proficiency against the AITSL standards (AKA appease the accreditation overlords)

Search like a librarian

Where am I and where do I need to be? We recommend you start by:

  • Reviewing the Smartcopying Advice especially the creative commons advice so you know what you can use, adapt and share.
  • Thinking about what you want to teach!

Now let’s talk about how to get the primary and secondary historical sources to create your teaching resources.

Finding the right stuff

Finding the sources you need by knowing where and how to search is both an art and science; the more you do it, the easier it will become! A great place to start is:

  • Identifying what you need (primary sources, secondary sources or perhaps both?), and…
  • Considering where you can find it (we have you covered on some great places to look below, so read on…)

Identifying what you need (…and searching primary and secondary sources)

Did you know you can reuse the searching skills you learnt at uni when finding information in the real world? How cool is that!

When you are looking for copyright compliant material to create your lessons, whether you are looking for primary or secondary sources, always consider:

  • What information you need and what you are looking for
  • Where would be the best place to look
  • What tips and tricks you can use to make your search as easy as possible!


A quick reminder on how to plan your search

Before you jump into searching, you should brainstorm and plan so you can approach your search in a logical way to find the information you need in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Explore the below to refresh your knowledge on search planning!


Curious about where to find some awesome sources?

Check out the below H5P to see where you can find some of them…


Evaluate like a historian

Historical source evaluation is applicable to Open Education Resources (OER) too. We know you can ask and answer difficult historical questions and use historical ways of thinking to evaluate sources. Now you can apply those same ways of thinking and questioning to evaluate the sources of information you will use with your students. 

Comparison and evaluation

Finding, choosing, comparing, evaluating, and adapting are all great adjectives. They are also necessary steps in creating learning activities and content for your students.

To choose appropriate secondary sources for your students you need to combine your:

  • historical source evaluation skills
  • what you know about creative commons, copyright and attribution
  • your knowledge of your students and how they learn

For example, this is a guide the Deakin University Library team created to get students to evaluate primary and secondary sources.

In the spirit of creating and sharing great OER content, let’s think about what makes a good OER. There are heaps of checklists to get you started including:

Let’s compare the pair

Open these two Open Education Resources (OER)

Now compare them using the criteria listed in the H5P drag and drop activity.

When you have decided which book best meets that criteria, drag and drop it into the corresponding column.



Background: “Lucidario di Recami” by Designer: Iseppo Foresto (Italian, active Venice, 1557) and Publisher: Jeronimo Calepino , 1564 is in the Public Domain, CC0 (via ARTSTOR)


Create resources like a teacher

Lots to think about and remember?

All teachers are creative and resourceful. We’ve used H5P to create activities to check your understanding of where you can find content that you can reuse and adapt; and how you can reuse and adapt that content in your own creations.

H5P is free and open source. That means you can use this in your teaching now and in the future without needing to pay for a subscription. You can use it to create learning activities and get your students creating too.

How do I remember all of this?

Social bookmarking tools are a great way of organising and sharing these resources.

Here’s some options

What do you want to create?

Don’t be limited to this list, but we have some guides to get you started…

Here’s list of other great digital tools you can use in Padlet Stream form. Feel free to add new tools and comment on the exiting tools.

Remember, if you are making a new resource, check to see

  1. If you have the right to reuse/copy that content
  2. How you are allowed to use what you make on that platform

Let’s pretend with a scenario in H5P course presentation!

NOTE: This activity has links to content that includes images and voices of deceased people. Please be culturally sensitive in your OER creations.


Appease the accreditation overlords

AITSL standards and spruiking your skills

You’ve got some new/expanded skills and knowledge to add to your teaching repertoire. Now you can start translating it all into evidence of your ability to source, synthesise and share your superb revision activities.

We’ve got this guide on Creating Portfolios that provides advice on choosing and writing about artifacts and evidencing your ability to teach, but you need to be able to link what you are learning to the AITSL standards for accreditation. It’s always good to have a range of examples for each, both for accreditation and applying for teaching positions to demonstrate the breadth of your skills and knowledge.

How you write about the skills is up to you, but we’ve made a matching activity of where we think these skills and knowledges fit to help get you thinking about how you may impress the accreditation overlords in your state.

An H5P drag and drop to get you thinking about standards….



This information is based on a guide created for Deakin University Library and was adapted with the permission of the University Librarian/Deakin University Library.




Share This Book