Using Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources are digital resources that are open access and can be used in higher education and contribute to Open Science. It covers a variety of different types of resources. Besides this, it can save time to reuse high quality content, instead of having to make it yourself.

A good explanation of open educational resources can be found on this page of SURF. For advice on how to make your own interactive open educational resource, you can contact your faculty’s ICTO or video coordinator, the Centre for Innovation or read the advice in the video toolkit of Leiden University.

Keep in mind that you can only use digital resources if the copyrights permit it. In order to ensure this, have a look at the Creative Commons License. When in doubt, you can contact the UBL Copyright Information Office for assistance.

Assessing existing open educational resources also means judging them on quality and level before you can put them to good use. You will have to make a judgement call, or ask a student (assistant) to do it for you, as there are no standardized guidelines. You can also work together with colleagues in your discipline to create a step by step plan for quality assessment.

There are many different ways to find the open educational resources that fit your course. Below an overview of reliable sources and repositories is listed.

The way you use open educational resources is similar to when you use articles and books written by yourself. Naturally you provide references to the used material. You can look at the most used methods here. However, there can be technical limitations, e.a. how you can implement videos in your learning management system. For this information, check the Brightspace manual.

Cannot find what you’re looking for? You could consider making resources yourself, or combine forces with colleagues and reduce the effort needed per person. You can look for inspiration at this example from the paramedic portal for Higher Education.

If you consider making your material openly accessible, we recommend using the licence CC-BY-NC-SA, or contact the Copyright Information Office.

For more support on how to make your own interactive open educational resources, you can contact the Centre for Innovation, have a look at the video toolkit from Leiden University, and read more advice on this website.


The Leiden University Library offers a lot of online services, such as digital materials, information about copyright, support with information literacy, assistance for creating links to journal articles and (e-)books, video services, and online workshops. For more information, please visit their website.

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