Open educational resources: guidelines

Produce Open Educational Resources

Quick Guide: Tips to Get You Started

  1. Secure the right to share material:
    • Ensure everything you share is your own material.
    • If the material is created by others, such as other speakers in the video, make sure you have the rights to use it.
      • Some materials might be open access, like those licensed under a Creative Commons license. If unsure, always check.
      • Seek permission from other authors if needed. Legal services can provide template contracts if required.
  2. Ensure accessibility:
    • E.g. for videos, accessibility often means providing subtitles. This can be automatically done by platforms like JYU's Moniviestin.
  3. Add Metadata to the Educational Resource:
    • Include details of the authors and publisher (e.g., JYU).
    • Choose an appropriate license.
    • Provide a description of the content, and add keywords to enhance findability.
  4. Open the Information in the Library of Open Educational Resources:
    • By doing this, you ensure the Educational Resource is findable.
    • The Library works with JYU's Haka credentials and guides users through the information input process.
    • The educational resource can be added to the Library either as a link or as a file.

For more details on these topics, refer to the sections below.

Tools for teachers in JYU

  • Digital Services of JYU have produced pedagogical models of the e-learning and guidelines for digital tools (not yet translated into English).
  • It is possible to use open platforms for production. Just remember:
    • ensure the questions of data protection issues
    • cooperation and participation of students


Accessibility means that materials and teaching are suitable using as many people as possible.
When producing open educational resources the accessibility is noticed by making the material clear, understandable and easy to use, for example. Accessibility is regulated matter i.e. open educational resources must be accessible and in their background information it is good to provide additional information related to accessibility. When opening the educational resources, it is possible to bring up such background information in the Library of open educational resources (aoe).

For more information


Compact check list of the authorship: 

  • As a principle, the author always has the authorship, so he/she decides for opening of the education resource and the licence of it. 
  • Agreeing of the cooperation, licences etc. in advance: ask examples from Legal Services.
    • Cooperation is possible with students, too. In fact learner's participation is the central matter of open learning. 
    • Copyrights can be transferred by making the special contract.

  • Opening the education resources from different viewpoints:
    • The author decides: how, where and which terms and conditions (licences) are applied.
    • The organization supports: cooperation and agreement.
    • Students can be both the authors and users of the educational resources, i.e. students have to be able to utilize for example Creative Commons -licences.

  • If photos etc. have been used in the leaning material, please notice the permission of copyrights. Options for this:

Open educational resources can both be opened for the general use, or they can be opened with the licence which defines terms and condition for the further use. 

The Creative Commons licences are of often used for opening the educational resource. The author can decide the licence suitable for each material. The Library of Open Educational Resources recommends licences such as CC BY 4.0. and CC BY SA. Both of the licences order to cite the original author. CC BY SA means materials can be shared when the licence used on that new work is the same as the original.

Note that the permission of editing the material enables the updating of it and continues the life and usability of the material. It is also good to think, is it really necessary to reject the commercial use, becuase the the material can not be utilized courses which are subject to a charge. (Source; Library of Open Educational Resources, FAQ. URL: Frequently Asked Questions — The Open Educational Library ( The link checked 17.8.2023.)

If the educational resource has several authors, it is helpful to agree licences etc. in advance. 

For more information about the licences and rights of the educational resources:

Acknowledging the quality

The author of the educational resource should also take into account the quality aspect, e.g.

Peer review opportunity

  • colleagues as support, mentors, in the educational resource making phase
  • The Library of Open Educational Resources allows you to write open comments on opened educational resources, e.g. on further development ideas.

Licence selection

  • Creative Commons licence selection tool
  • Materials used in educational resources: is opening allowed?
  • When collaborating, e.g. involving students in the making of educational resources, or in research projects, copyright may belong to many parties. In this case, it is worth to remember the agreement in advance, in which case copyright and used licences are decided on in good time and together.

National guidelines

The National Guide to Open Educational Materials: an overview

  • The National Guide (not yet translated into English) goes through the basics of opening educational resources.
  • Definition of concepts: open learning, open education resource, open learning and teaching practices
  • Copyright issues
  • CC licences from the perspective of open educational resources
  • The guide has been produced in the national coordination of open science as part of the work of the group of experts on open learning. Authors: Aino Helariutta (Laurea) and Terhi Kaipainen (Xamk). CC BY-SA 4.0
  • The National Library of Open Educational Materials also compiles tips on how to produce materials (not yet translated into English).

National policy on openness in learning

Opening Education Resources: Library of Open Educational Resources (aoe)

The author opens his/her teaching material with descriptive data in the national Library of open teaching materials (aoe), maintained by the Centre for Science and Technology (CSC). This means that users can add metadata to their learning materials in Aoe to make them as discoverable and usable as possible.

You can add to Aoe

  • a file or
  • a link to the material you have opened elsewhere.

Publishing the material ensures the teacher's merit, so author and licensing information, including JYU affiliation, should also be added to the descriptive metadata. The Aoe platform guides the filling of description information, so it is worth remembering to add these details in the

  • authors
  • factor affinities
  • relevant YSO keywords to help findability
  • JYU as publisher (to make JYU materials discoverable)
  • a concise description of the material as a guide for users
  • the chosen licence.

Educational resources can also be opened in JYU's own environments such as Moniviestin, Koppa and Moodle. For these, a linki and descriptive information will be stored in Aoe.

How to open the educational resource in Aoe:

Source: Aoe team (2020). The Library of open educational resources. Helsinki: CSC.
The link verified 28.11.2020. (CC BY 4.0)

Utilizing Open Educational Resources

Educational resources opened by others can easily be found both in JYU's JYKDOK database or alternatively in Finna database. Both use YSO terms, so educational resources can easily be found using the same keywords.

Copyrighted open educational resource can be used according to the licence they are licensed under. If you want to use material that is not open in your own material, it can be possible by the right of quotation. If the material is not in the pubic domain orthe way it is used is not covered by the right of quotation, permission to use the material must be sought from its authors. 

Open educational resources for higher education institutions in Aoe are also visible in the European OERSI search engine, where you can also search for materials produced elsewhere in Europe. A number of search portals have been created to support the search for open educational resources. 

International guidelines

A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

This Unesco Guide comprises three sections. The first – a summary of the key issues – is presented in the form of a set of Frequently Asked Questions. Its purpose is to provide readers with a quick and user-friendly introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and some of the key issues to think about when exploring how to use OER most effectively.

The second section is a more comprehensive analysis of these issues, presented in the form of a traditional research paper. For those who have a deeper interest in OER, this section will assist with making the case for OER more substantively.

The third section is a set of appendices, containing more detailed information about specific areas of relevance to OER. These are aimed at people who are looking for substantive information regarding a specific area of interest.

Open Education Handbook

Open Education Handbook states that "Open Education" is a topic which has become increasingly popular in a variety of contexts. This handbook has been written to provide a useful point of reference for readers with a range of different roles and interests who are interested in learning more about the concept of Open Education and to help them deal with a variety of practical situations.

Quality Assurance Guidelines for Open Educational Resources: TIPS Framework

Quality Assurance Guidelines open the backgroud od Open Educational Resources and shows methods how to define their quality.

Unesco: Draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (2019)

Unesco's Recommendation on Open Educational Resources is the foundation policies are built on Finland.