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How to Create Open Content (#OER)

From Open.Michigan – a University of Michigan initiative that enables faculty, students, and others to share their educational resources and research with the global learning community

This handout outlines the process for creating materials using openly-licensed content. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that the educational materials you create are not only of value to your students and colleagues, but also something you can share with educators, collaborators, and self-learners worldwide.

Select a License for your Work

Using a Creative Commons license, you retain the copyright for your materials while allowing others to copy and distribute your work, provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify. There are several licenses to choose from, including:

Attribution License : Lets others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work—and derivative works based upon it—but only if they give credit the way you request.

Attribution – Non-Commercial License : Lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be noncommercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution – Share Alike License : Lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow
commercial use.

Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike License : Lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

Creating Presentation Slides for Open, Global Use

open contentBy following some simple guidelines, you can create more informative presentations and also ensure that others know how they can use your
work as well as the images, diagrams, charts, etc. inside the content.

Create a license slide to insert in your presentation
On the above  is an example of a license slide for an individual—U-M faculty member, Lisa Wooten—who holds the copyright to the course material. Prof. Wooten has selected the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Find Openly-Licensed Images(contents) for your Presentation

As you build your presentation or other course materials, select content from one of many organizations that provide openly-licensed materials. By selecting openly-licensed content, you can be confident that your learning materials can be shared with others and that you will receive proper attribution. Two excellent resources for finding open content are:

Attribute the Image(contents)

Now that you’ve found open content, you need to give proper attribution to the creators of these materials as you assemble your educational resources and projects. To attribute content you didn’t create, make sure you include the author, title, source, license, and license URL in your materials. For example:

Open.Michigan,, CC:BY 2.0,

For each image you insert in your presentation you’ll need to credit the creator, provide the URL where the work is hosted, indicate the type of license it is available under, and provide a link to the license (so others can find out the license terms). For example:

open content

CC: BY-NC-SA by essjay

Make Websites Open

To make the content on your website open for sharing, use the CC License Chooser tool to select the license you want. It will generate the html code for displaying the license, which you can then paste into your website. For example, this is the code generated for a BY-SA license.

<img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0” src=”×31.png” />
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Making Video Open

To make video available for open sharing, you add a video bumper—a notice at the beginning or end of your video—that states the author(s) and CC license. Sample bumpers may be downloaded from the CC website:

You can also make your own bumper, just be sure to include the CC license icons (including the CC logo) and the full URL to the license. The CC icons may be replaced with the name of the license or the abbreviation. A copyright notice stating the author(s), date, and copyright should also be included.

making video open, creative commons video

For more information see:

Publish your Content

Your materials are now openly licensed for sharing. The next step is to publish and promote your content through a repository, such as the Open.Michigan website: Many other options are available for sharing your resources across the global learning community.

Note : This document is licensed under CC BY. More information is available to download here : Handouts on Finding and Creating Open Content.


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
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