13 Benchmark: Scope an OER Adoption or Creation

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe introductory steps needed to plan an OER adoption


OER adoption, adaptation, and creation is unique. While providing a general workflow for such a process is difficult to do, you should have knowledge of the overall process involved with most OER projects. This section will attempt to do just that.

High Level OER Production Workflow

At the beginning of 2016, this OER production workflow was created with the intention of simplifying the major steps in an OER project so that scoping such work would be manageable.

OER Production Workflow diagram

The workflow was shared with the broad OER community via mailing lists and direct appeals to experts in the field, soliciting comments from more than a dozen contributors. It can be useful when performing the initial scoping of an OER project.


If you are viewing this content as part of a training workshop, then you are in the first phase of the process. Here we ask key questions about your potential adoption or creation. Once you have completed a basic training or consultation and have performed a cursory search of content that may work for you, you can move onto the next phase.


Before any direct work on content is done, we need to get organized. This means defining the project goals and creating the planning documents you’ll need to manage the process. More attention put towards properly scoping your project the better, and you should use management documents and tools you and your collaborators are familiar with. It is at this point that a call for volunteers (contributors, copyeditors, reviewers) can be sent out if your project would need such support to be successful. Continue in this phase until the necessary resources are secured and commitments have been gathered from collaborators.


This phase is the last step before we get our hands dirty with OER. It is here that we flesh out any outlines for the content and confirm major planned revisions of existing OER you have found for the project. If media development (image/video editing, visual design) is a planned need, scoping this work is done here. Before leaving this phase, you should have a clear idea of both what you are building and how it will get done.


This phase is the real meat of the OER production process — and the most time consuming. It is here that we take existing OER (if applicable) and move it into a shared editing environment to ease the collaborative development of it. The content will go through a feedback loop where new content is added, comments and clarifications are made, and the changes are revised by the collaborators. Commenting, track changes, and annotation can facilitate this process well, depending on the software used to develop content. As an example, many UH OER projects utilize shared documents in Google Drive to collaborate on content in this phase.


This is the final step in the process of adapting or creating OER. It is at this point that we select the final publishing platform to be used, which for bookish OER would likely be the UH Pressbooks platform but may be something as simple as a website or course inside the LMS. OER published through the UH Pressbooks platform have the advantage of being both editable through the OER’s website and exportable in a variety of formats. If print on demand and advanced typesetting are needed to complete the project, they are done in this step.

Keep It Simple

As with any project, OER projects are subject to scope creep — meaning that the goals of the project can grow or become blurred by the excitement of what we can do with OER. For this reason, it is recommended that a project manager keep track of progress and not be afraid to push new features or extensions of the original project into a second development cycle. We can do many things with OER, but we need to accomplish the original goals first. First build the foundational content for your book or course, then take off and fly.

Knowledge Check

Share Your Plan

For benchmark completion of this chapter, please share your OER adoption or creation plan with us by filling out this form:


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UH OER Training Copyright © 2018 by William Meinke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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