|OER Curation Workflow Examples
OER curation can express itself in varied ways for school librarians, ranging from the creation of OER “playlists” to supplement core materials, to the development of bundled collections of resources on topics mandated by new curriculum policies in their state. Some librarians are also finding, evaluating, and adapting OER to build lessons that meet content gaps in their district. Below are two examples of what OER curation might look like for a school librarian. Of course, the work of the school librarian is often layered and complex, and the ability to work in the ways demonstrated below depends on the right supports, and the right school and district context.
In response to Washington State requirements that tribal sovereignty curriculum be taught in all schools, an SL meets with the district's Social Studies curriculum specialist to discuss the need for new instructional unit for Grade 4 Social Studies on the Spokane Indian tribe and their interactions with white Europeans who explored and moved west.
The team uses their state department of education’s Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum Flow Chart to guide their work. The team also identifies the learning objectives and essential questions that will be the focus of each module of the unit, and a list of the types of resources needed to support each objective.
The SL starts building each unit by searching for primary source texts and historical maps of U.S. territories and reservations to help students to successfully move through the identified learning objectives. SL focuses on public domain collections such as the Library of Congress and Wikimedia Commons.
The SL examines the permissions for resources under consideration, using the Permissions Guide for Educators as support. If under copyright, SL may request permission to use a resource from the rights holder and document the response.
The SL follows Stanford History Education Group’s model for harvesting primary sources, which addresses the resources’ context, source accuracy, and other factors. The SL also examines each resource to determine it relates to the other resources under consideration, and whether it adds value.
The team writes student activities around the selected primary sources, and builds a unit. They also tailor some of the primary source texts to meet the reading level and needs of grade 4 learners. They evaluate the completed unit draft using the Washington Quality Review Rubric for Social Studies Lessons and Units, which is based on the EQuIP Rubric.
The team evaluates the unit using a WA OSPI rubric for assessing bias in instructional content, which includes components on gender/sex, culture/ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability status, and family structure. If the unit scores low on one or more components, it is edited to better meet standards and policies for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The team shares the completed unit locally in Google Drive, as well as publicly in an open repository for future teachers outside of the district to reuse and adapt. Following state policy, the team shares the unit under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, indicating that others can use and adapt it, as long as WA OSPI is attributed in any derivatives made. They use attribution guidelines created by their district to help them in constructing the attribution language.
The team incorporates teacher feedback on the units after they have been implemented, using a simple feedback form they developed. Based on the teacher feedback, they decide to remove one component of the unit due to teachers’ time concerns. After revisions are made, the team reshares the refined version.
A School Librarian (SL) receives a request from a health teacher to find health statistics reports and data sets to supplement a new instructional unit on tobacco and addiction.
The SL reviews a graphic organizer that the health teacher has created to deconstruct the learning outcomes for the new tobacco and addiction unit. The SL and the teacher work to identify a set of curation goals for each concept and skill identified in the organizer, including the types and scope of the resources to be included, and possible search terms.
Since the resources were found on U.S. government sites, the SL confirms that they are in the public domain.
The SL evaluates the health-related datasets based on a list of criteria compiled locally: a) Relevance, b) Appropriateness of the complexity level of the information, c) Structure and ease of database navigation, and d) Availability of a data dictionary or explanations of the data to support student examination of the data.
The SL adds descriptions to each item in the curated collection to provide context and instructions for learners on how to use and access the resource.
The SL examines the curated collection using an Accessibility Checklist to ensure each item in the collection meets at least some of the requirements of the international accessibility standards for web-based content.
The SL uses Follett Destiny to share the curated collection. The SL shares it with the individual teacher as well as with others across the district through Follett’s “Collections” tool. The SL decides to also share the collection on the school library website, which is accessible to all.
The SL observes the implementation of the unit in the teacher’s classroom using a simple rubric to help document the engagement level of the students, as well as any student questions, and learning successes/challenges demonstrated when the curated resources are utilized in the classroom. The SL uses the observation notes to refine the collection, primarily in the form of additional annotations and descriptors to some resources, and finding additional resources that further extend the learning that was observed.