In the classroom, you are used to helping students engage with content. Carefully select the content you choose to share online with your students so as not to overwhelm them.
1. Prioritize your content between what is essential and what is nice to have
You will likely feel that you have a lot of material to cover in your course. This will need to be weighed against considerations for prioritizing content that will be assessed in your graded assignments and exams. Clearly demarcate essential content to show students what is most important for their learning.
- Use the Course Completion Plan Assistant to help you determine what to include/exclude
- Emphasize essential content and propose higher-order thinking activities to help students absorb the material.
- Consider what resources are already available that can be shared with your students. (e.g. websites, videos, articles, previously created lecture slides)
- When sharing external content, there are important considerations to consider, refer to Recommendation 2: Follow relevant guidelines about copyright and intellectual property
2. Follow relevant guidelines about copyright and intellectual property
With so much material available online for educational use, it is possible to rely on materials from other sources to augment your course content. However, it is important to be mindful of considerations of copyright and intellectual property when sharing material that you have not created yourself.
- Copyright tips for moving Courses to an Online format
- Public Domain, Open Access, and Creative Commons Materials
- Creating Permalinks to York Libraries’ Resources
- FAQ: Online Course Materials and Copyright
- To use and sustain Open Educational Resources, see this OER toolkit
- To access Open Access Repositories, visit York Libraries
- How to use Omni (Libraries' comprehensive search platform) to find sources
- Research collections from York University Libraries
- eBooks available from York University Libraries
- York University Digital Library
- Library Research Guides
- When using or sharing materials not created by you, be sure to appropriately credit the original author (e.g. author/organization name, date, and link to original source).
- If you are creating new materials for your course, consider adding a Creative Commons license to your work so it can be shared with and used by others without the need to request permission for reuse.
- When sharing course content online be aware of and apply York’s Fair Dealing Guidelines.
- If you have uploaded content you have created yourself, such as lecture notes or slides, ensure students are aware of your intellectual property rights.
3. Complement existing material with royalty-free tools and resources
Developing an online course is not an all-or-nothing endeavour. With a little technical efficacy, ingenuity, and courage, existing materials can easily be expanded and combined with newly developed content.
- Use free image/photo editors to refine your visual elements, including Gimp, PicsArt (free in the MS App Store), Photo Pos Pro, or Paint.NET.
- Create sophisticated infographics, charts, and posters with Piktochart (free option is available).
- Use your webcam or cellphone to shoot simple, effective snippets of video (e.g., for introduction).
- Use free video editors to polish your videos, including OpenShot, VSDC, Kdenlive, DaVinci Resolve, or Blender.
- To learn about open access resources (OER): OER toolkit
- Image libraries (openly licenced): Pixabay, Unsplash, Creative Commons Search, Wikimedia Commons, other heritage collections
- Video libraries (openly licensed): Pixabay, Videvo, Pexels, Videezy, Dareful
- Animation libraries (openly licensed): VideoPlasty
- Audio libraries (openly licensed): YouTube Audio Library (Note: To access the YouTube Audio Library, you will need to have a free YouTube Studio account. If you have a Gmail address, you'll already have a YouTube Studio account.)
- To explore open access resources: York Libraries has streaming collections
- Find Open Course Material
- Including Third Party Content in Your Work (University of Alberta)
- Open access resources at York University Libraries.
- York University Libraries Digital Journals
- Openly licensed evaluation tools, quizzes, and interactive modules created using H5P through eCampus Ontario
- Openly licensed icons, graphics, slide show themes
- Evaluate the quality of OER content using the 5Rs: retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute
- Draw on existing resources available through eCampusOntario, BCCampus, Ontario College Libraries and others, so you can focus your energy on unique contributions. Consider taking additional training through eCampus Ontario
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