Roadmap for the development of the workshop 'Redesign your teaching using open educational resources'

Would you like to speed up the adoption of open educational resources (OER) within your institution? Do you want to help lecturers start with OER? Using this roadmap, you will set up an online workshop which will be your platform to inspire lecturers. The workshop is also for the support specialists: what can they do to lower barriers?

Vier studenten achter een laptop

Step 5. Organise online sessions

The workshop consists of two online sessions: 'Redesign your teaching using open educational resources' for lecturers and support specialists, and 'Organisation and support of open educational resources' for support specialists. This step explains how both sessions are structured, including examples and advice.

Redesign your teaching using open educational resources


This session is for all participants and has the following objectives:

  1. to check whether the basic level is up to scratch and to build it up, where necessary.
  2. to help lecturers make progress with their final assignment: redesigning their teaching
  3. to inspire the participants
  4. to help lecturers expand their network within the institution
  5. to identify barriers encountered by lecturers


The proposed duration of the online session 'Redesign your teaching with open educational resources' is 2.5 hours. This will give you enough time to carry out the following activities.



1. Welcome and introductions 

10 minutes

2. Basic knowledge of open educational resources

20 minutes

3. Why should I start using open educational resources? 

5 minutes

4. Where can I find open educational resources? 

10 minutes

5. Quality of educational resources

30 minutes


15 minutes

6. Barriers

20 minutes

7. Using open educational resources in teaching practice 

20 minutes

8. Sharing your own educational resources

10 minutes

9. Conclusion

10 minutes

Here too, of course, you may – or perhaps even must – adapt as much as possible to the situation at your institution. Below you will find the lesson plans for this workshop as given by the University of Groningen and HAN University of Applied Sciences. As you can see, these do vary from the structure shown in this roadmap. You will also find the presentation used in the section on Barriers.

Sample lesson plans for the lecturers' session

Practical matters/webinar advice

  • Test the technology you are using to host the webinar one day before the session.
  • Be online half an hour before your session is due to start. Test the technology again.
  • Find yourself a moderator who can curate the questions and comments that participants ask during the meeting. 
  • Prepare a comprehensive script to define all roles and responsibilities during the webinar. For example: chairperson, chat moderator, break-out room chairperson, etc.

Components of the online session 'Redesign your teaching using open educational resources’

Below is a detailed description of the various components of the session 'Redesign your teaching using open educational resources'.

1. Welcome and introductions - 10 minutes

Start the online session by introducing yourself and any co-trainers and then explaining the purpose and structure of the session. Then ask the participants to introduce themselves briefly. Do this in a way that is in keeping with your institution, with your own character and with the group size.

Example introductions round
Ask everyone to pick up an object that's within easy reach. Each participant then has 30 seconds to introduce themselves, their profession and the object. This object will give you a more personal image of the participants and often helps you to remember them.

2. Basic knowledge of open educational resources - 20 minutes

What are open educational resources and what about copyright law? We assume that the participants have completed the preparatory assignment and the introductory module. It will suffice here to keep things brief on this topic and move on to a discussion of it.

Example of Quizlet Live
In the University of Groningen workshop, a Quizlet Live session on copyright issues was held to examine the extent to which knowledge about copyright aspects can actually be applied.

In any case, discuss the situation with open educational resources at your own institution. 

  • What is the policy on open educational resources?
  • Which licences can be or must be used?
  • Is it possible to share your own educational resources openly? If so, how and where? This will be discussed in more detail towards the end of the workshop.

If participants still have too little basic knowledge, refer them to the online module: ‘Introduction to open educational resources’ and invite them to go through it (again) after the workshop.

3. Why should I start using open educational resources? - 5 minutes

Briefly discuss the reasons for using open educational resources. To offer some inspiration, use the videos from 'Open Educational Resources in Practice' (in Dutch) in which lecturers talk about their reasons for using OERs.

Example of the usefulness of open educational resources
Use an online poll to set out various reasons for using open educational resources. For example, use the reasons given in the ‘Introduction to open educational resources’:

  • making a contribution to society/knowledge valorisation
  • greater student satisfaction
  • time saving
  • cost saving
  • quality improvement
  • collaboration to build collections
  • avoid reinventing the wheel
  • raise your profile as an expert
  • lecturer professional development

Ask the participants to rate the reasons with a score from 0, not important, to 10, very important. The outcome of this poll will be a good starting point for a discussion on the usability of OER.

Also discuss the benefits for students when their lecturers use OER.

Example of benefits for students
Discuss the benefits for students, for example using slide 9 from the webinar 'Using educational resources of others'. (Marijn Post, HAN University of Applied Sciences, in Dutch)

4. Where can I find open educational resources? - 10 minutes

There are plenty of interesting search engines and repositories where you can find great open educational resources. In the discussion, you can also refer to various types of educational resources, such as video or MOOCs. You will find many examples in the step Using other people’s open educational resources in the online module ‘Introduction to open educational resources’. You can see how the University of Groningen and HAN University of Applied Sciences have approached things in their presentations.

Example sources
A number of slides showing sources where you can find open educational resources: slides 21, 22, 23 and 24 of the webinar Using digital educational resources of others (in Dutch, some examples in Dutch, some in English). HAN has reused the presentation of the University of Groningen (PDF), which has been openly shared.

Use the work already done by the support specialists in their preparation. In this way, you can adapt the examples given to the subject areas of the participating lecturers. The participants will then be immediately able to start searching for open educational resources in their field of expertise.

5. Quality of educational resources - 30 minutes

In terms of content, it is often very easy to decide which educational resources are relevant. A lecturer can quickly make the case for why something might or might not be a good fit with their course. But there are other aspects which can be used to judge open educational resources, which are often forgotten. Rate resources in terms of: 

  1. Didactic quality:
    Check that they include learning objectives, or that they match your learning objectives. Check whether teaching instructions are available, whether students need prior knowledge, and whether the material is aligned with the vision of your institution.
  2. Accessibility (technical):
    Take a look at the reuse options. Are formats adaptable? Are the resources compatible with the institution's infrastructure? Are they user-friendly?
  3. Quality of the content:
    What is the subject-specific and theoretical quality? Is this a match for your quality and learning objectives? Who is the sender? Is the language quality good enough?
  4. Format of the resources:
    Does the format match your educational vision?

Example classification of quality by HAN
Marijn Post of HAN University of Applied Sciences has prepared a great presentation (in Dutch) here which has been openly shared. See slide 11 for the quality classification she used.

You will also discuss the preparatory assignments in this section of the session. Discuss a number of open educational resources found in the preparatory work and assess them against the quality aspects. There are a variety of formats that could be used to complete this section. One way is to ask participants in break-out rooms to collaborate to assess open educational resources based on the four aspects.

6. Barriers - 20 minutes

Lecturers regularly say that they perceive barriers to working with open educational resources. What those barriers are will be different for everyone. In this section, the participants will start by discussing these barriers. The objective is to form a good picture of all the barriers that have been encountered. By discussing these barriers in the group, it is possible that some can be taken away.

The outcomes of this section will provide input for the session with the support specialists: Organisation and support of open educational resources.


  • Prepare a number of examples in advance of barriers that you have already heard about and present them. 
  • Ask each participant to submit a number of barriers using a poll. Tell them that you will use the outcomes in the session on barriers for support specialists. 
  • Discuss some of the most commonly mentioned barriers and discuss ideas about how to overcome them.
7. Using open educational resources in teaching practice - 20 minutes

There are various ways of using OER in teaching practice:

  • Regular educational resources
    Lecturers can use the educational resources of others in their own teaching. These may be exact copies, excerpts from the resources or they may be used in an adapted form. The lecturer is responsible for compiling the resources.
  • Education from elsewhere
    Students can follow entire teaching modules available elsewhere. Why teach a course yourself if a good MOOC is available? However, the lecturer could still be responsible for the examinations.
  • Students develop educational resources
    When students develop open educational resources, they first have to acquire a full mastery of the content. This offers them many insights into the content and their own learning process. Examples include 'knowledge clips' or knowledge articles.
  • Students find open educational resources
    Tell students that there are plenty of educational resources on your particular subject out there. Instruct them to collect and assess some. This will enable them to build their own treasure trove of sources.

Give a presentation to inspire participants to think beyond the option of merely using the educational resources of others. You can give examples like this:

Use examples from 'Education from elsewhere'

  • Students follow an entire open module/course, for instance, a MOOC. This could be offered as an alternative way to obtain (extra) credits. You can also arrange for students to follow an external MOOC (or parts of it) to provide them with content for your subject.
    • At the Radboud University Medical Centre (UMC) many clinical rotations for around 1,000 students were cancelled because of COVID-19. The centre had to offer this group of students an alternative, especially for compulsory modules. They made an overview of alternative online education that students could follow for credits.
      More detailed information about the example of Radboud UMC (in Dutch).
    • Anthony van den Berg, a lecturer at Saxion University of Applied Sciences, uses resources from elsewhere alongside his own. He uses open and online resources to inspire students, and also to provide optional, more in-depth resources, although some of the open content is actually mandatory. ‘We always use the necessary resources to give students the basic knowledge. But sometimes we might use open resources to replace a lecture. Sometimes we rely entirely on the MOOC, for example. If it replaces a lecture, we will allow the student to take the course on their own.'
      More information on the example given by Anthony van den Berg (in Dutch).
      Both examples were discussed in the webinar on 'Using digital educational resources of others'. Read a review (in Dutch) of the webinar or watch the recording of the webinar (in Dutch).
  • Offer the same content in a variety of formats in the form of an extensive reading list. Students all have their own way of learning and their own preferences. Senior professor in Epidemiology and Research Methods at Radboud UMC, Femmie de Vegt, is taking advantage of this: 'For my own lectures, I use a lot of open resources. There are so many good resources already available, it would be a waste not to use them. I also think it's important to offer students a variety of resources. Everyone learns differently, and so students can decide for themselves how they want to achieve their learning objectives. They can learn the basics themselves; one person might watch knowledge clips, while another might prefer to follow e-learning modules or study textbooks. It gives me more time to cover in-depth material with the students.
    Watch a short video in which Femmie de Vegt explains her ideas

Examples of students developing educational resources and students searching for open educational resources

  • George Fox University has developed an entire study programme about 'affordable textbooks'. They describe the benefits as follows: 'Benefits to students include a reduction in the cost of attending college and increased opportunities for engagement and academic success.' What's more, the university is focusing on 'increased learning through collaboration'. This sees students actually developing open textbooks in collaboration with lecturers. Apart from the resulting book, the students learn to collaborate on the writing, they master the content of the subject and they experience a 'deeper relevance in the learning experience'. View the presentation that George Fox University gave at the ELI conference 2019.
  • In the themed edition of Open Pedagogy (in Dutch) by the special interest group Open Education, several examples are given of open pedagogy.
    From this publication: Open Pedagogy is an umbrella of didactic forms of work to which one or more of the following characteristics apply: 1. Learners work on learning tasks where the value they add is openly accessible so that others can access them, share them and add value again; 2. Learning tasks are carried out by learners who are linked in open networks (including social media); 3. Learners contribute to knowledge creation through learning tasks by adapting, reusing or combining openly available content or knowledge objects and by making the results openly available; 4. Learning tasks involve the use of open educational resources (OER) and content that is available on open networks.
    One of the examples in the publication is from Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in which students of the teacher training programme design lessons for secondary school pupils. They are encouraged to search for existing resources and to reuse, mix and share them openly.
8. Sharing your own educational resources - 10 minutes

If lecturers share their own educational resources, what things should they be aware of? And how do they ensure that others will know that they can easily reuse the resources and what rights dictate how they may be used? 

Example of sharing your own educational resources
Present the step ‘Developing learning materials for re-use’ from the online module ‘Introduction to open educational resources. Explain how each aspect is arranged within your institution and what the requirements are: Let participants know where lecturers can seek help. What facilities are already available, e.g. is there a copyright helpdesk? Where can they store resources?

Marijn Post of HAN University of Applied Sciences: Should you discuss sharing your own educational resources in the workshop, or not? We decided to make two separate workshops out of it. It's a completely different subject and possibly more complicated.'

9. Conclusion - 10 minutes

This meeting is only the beginning of redesigning a course with open educational resources. Motivate the participants to get to work on a specific case after the session. What will help is that in about 8 weeks' time, there will be a regrouping session where everyone will present their own progress.

Example conclusion
Presentation with the following sections:

  • thank you for your commitment and participation
  • final assignment: Redesign your teaching with open educational resources
  • we will contact you within two weeks to ask if we can help in any way
  • in about eight weeks, there will be a regrouping session where everyone will present the course they have redesigned
  • during the regrouping session, the support specialists will present new developments that they have set in motion.

Constructive alignment

Are you using constructive alignment in the design of the workshop? If so, make sure you link the activities with the learning objectives. There is a good example of this in the learning objectives stated by the University of Groningen (in the last column). See Learning Goals University of Groningen (PDF, in English). These are covered in step 2 of this roadmap.

Assess whether all the activities actually help you to achieve the intended learning objectives.

After this session, there will be a second online session for the support specialists: Organisation and support of open educational resources.

studenten zitten in een werkcollege met docent

Online session for support specialists: Organisation and support of open educational resources

The online session 'Organisation and support of open educational resources' is intended for the support specialists. In this section, they get to work with the institution's policies and lecturer support. This meeting has the following objectives:

  1. To obtain an overview of the barriers that lecturers encounter when adopting open educational resources (OER).
  2. To gain a realistic picture of existing policies and the support offered for OER.
  3. To prepare a plan to help improve policies and support.

The proposed duration of this online session is also 2.5 hours. It is important to hold this session as soon as possible after the session 'Redesign your teaching using open educational resources'. For example, schedule it one hour after the first session or one week later at exactly the same time.



1. Welcome and objectives 

5 minutes

2. Identification of barriers

10 minutes

3. Identification of solutions

20 minutes

4. Prepare plans to support lecturers 

40 minutes


15 minutes

5. Discussion of policies and policy gaps

30 minutes

6. Set result targets for regrouping session 

20 minutes

7. Conclusion

10 minutes

Here too, of course, you may – or must – adapt everything to the situation at your institution based on the knowledge gained from the session 'Redesign your education with open educational resources'. Below you will find more detailed explanations of the various components of the meeting.

Components of the online session 'Organisation and support of open educational resources' 

Below we give a detailed description of the various components of the session 'Organisation and support of open educational resources'.


1. Welcome and objectives - 5 minutes

The participants will already know each other, either from the workplace or from the previous session. A comprehensive introductions round will therefore not be necessary, but do devote some time to the objectives of this session. And present the agenda for this session.

2. Identification of barriers - 10 minutes

The premise of this session is to discuss the barriers that lecturers encounter when redesigning their course using open educational resources. The participating support specialists will discuss this.

Present the barriers identified in the session 'Redesign your teaching using open educational resources’. Analyse them and organise them into clusters.

You can set up a Mural or Padlet showing all the barriers that were mentioned. These can then be organised into clusters and ordered.

3. Identification of solutions - 20 minutes

Organise a group brainstorm session to allow support specialists to come up with solutions for the barriers experienced by lecturers.

Use the Mural or Padlet from the previous activity as your premise. Then ask the support specialists to come up with as many solutions as they can think of. For example, move into the break-out rooms in small groups and task each group with devising a solution.

4. Prepare plans to support lecturers - 40 minutes

Which of the ideas that emerged from the brainstorm session could actually be implemented? This is what you will be deciding in this activity.

Once again, use the Mural or Padlet from the previous activity as your premise. Discuss which of the proposed solutions could be implemented and in what timeframe. Also think carefully about who from the institution might play a key role and how you are going to bring these people into the process. Set this out in an action plan and link those responsible to the actions.

5. Discuss policies and policy gaps - 30 minutes

In the preparatory assignment, the support specialists mapped out the current policy landscape. The support specialists now know each other a little better and have worked together for a number of hours on the theme of open educational resources. A good time to discuss whether the policies are fit for purpose. Work together to decide what is still missing in the policies. Consider what you can do within your own institution to help increase the adoption of OER.

Present an overview of the policy documents which you compiled in the preparatory assignment. Discuss in the group what additional policies are needed. Discuss who would be able to help draft these.

6. Set result targets for the regrouping session - 20 minutes

Nothing is more frustrating than concluding a session with only plans. It is much more satisfying if the participants actually start to work on their plans and start implementing them. Lay the foundations for this in this step. Encourage the people with responsibility to actually take action. Also make sure that someone writes down all the proposed actions.

Make sure all actions are "SMART". Be clear and decide who will do what and when it will be delivered.

7. Conclusion - 10 minutes

End with a round-up of the meeting and a look ahead.

Workshop for support specialists at RUG

Based on this session, the University of Groningen developed its own workshop for support specialists. See their announcement: Interactive webinar: Discover the transformative potential of open educational resources for your faculty.

<< Back to step 4. Produce preparatory assignments

>> Continue to step 6. Organise regrouping sessions and follow-up