According to the OER Handbook, the OER life cycle begins with a desire or need to learn or teach something. The following sequence of steps illustrates a typical development process:
Start by looking for suitable resources which contribute to meeting the need (click here for help with this). This may include using general search engines, searching specific repositories, and finding individual websites. Some potential components may be available offline, including lecture notes, class projects, handouts for learners and other resources prepared previously.
With a collection of resources at your disposal, start piecing them together to form a learning resource for yourself, your fellow educators, and/or learners. This is a creative design process of building an educational resource from scratch and/or using components you have found.
While composing OER, it will nearly always be necessary to adapt components to your local context. This may involve minor corrections and improvements, remixing components, localization with statistics and examples, and even complete rework for use in diverse contexts.
The actual use of OER in the classroom, online, during informal learning activities, etc.
Once you have created an OER, make it available for the open education community to re-use and begin the life cycle again.
Note that open licensing also plays a role throughout this life cycle.
As with all instructional or learning design, each step requires attention to the purpose of the learning resource, its role in the learning process, quality, and accessibility. You should also carefully consider issues of file format, mode of access, and licensing of the components. Each step could involve some degree of collaboration. Where applicable, open source tools are available to support each of these activities.
This life cycle applies to the development of an individual OER as well as large OER projects. Each of these stages have their own unique considerations. Although the life cycle follows a logical progression, it is not necessarily followed sequentially in practice. Some parts, such as adaptation, can be done simultaneously with other parts or out of order (Source).
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WikiEducator (2010). OER Life Cycle (CC-BY). Retrieved from http://wikieducator.org/OER_Handbook/educator/OER_Lifecycle