Bonus Chapter: Creation of Learning Materials

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Design new content for current courses. (LO2)
  • Investigate new forms of media to engage students. (LO3)


Creating your own learning materials for students is a valuable opportunity to find, adapt, and develop materials that align with the course learning outcomes. It is a unique opportunity and below are some general steps to complete this process. Your own process may be different than the prescribed steps below, but this is a helpful guide to start the process.

Step 1: Outline

Using a course map, paper and pencil, or some other medium to outline your thoughts, break down how you would want your materials to take shape. Note that different types of learning materials may have different technology or steps to execute, but the initial stage of outline your ideas is generally the same. It may be beneficial to include where the learning outcomes would align, to verify that the learning materials are teaching students what they are meant to teach. A sample is provided below, this is an extensive outline; your specific outline may be more or less detailed than this one. Notice that the textbook (Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Organizational Culture) is integrated with the learning materials, providing the majority of the reading components. There is a rough balance in the book and in the mapped materials between reading, listening, and watching.


Step 2: Locating Sources

The most time-consuming part of creating and adapting resources is generally finding the source material. It is tedious and if locating openly licensed materials is not something you are fluent in, it can be difficult. It maybe beneficial to work with an instructional designer or a librarian who researches learning materials daily, who can help you. Also changing the Google search parameters to focus on openly licensed materials can be a very helpful trick to find more resources in a timely fashion.


Step 3:  Finding the Right Platform

There are different, mostly free platforms that can aid you as you develop openly licensed content. Determine a platform that works for you and begin developing the content. In some cases, you may need to discuss these platforms further with your supervisor, IT department, or library. Listed below are some (but certainly not all of the options) available, sorted by the type of learning material:

  • Infographic
    • Canva
    • Piktochart
  • Video
    • Canva
    • Camtasia (not free)
  • Photos
    • Flickr
    • Canva
  • Textbooks
    • Pressbooks (available for Trine University faculty/staff through the PALNI Consortium)


Step 4: Begin Building

This, arguably, is the best and worst part of building learning materials. It take patience and time. You may have to scrap a couple versions, before you find a design that meets your expectations. It is expected that you will need to walk away from a project to take a break, just as long as you come back to it and finish it. Again, it may be beneficial to work with an instructional designer, librarian, or just have an extra set of eyes to look at your work to see if there’s anything missing or incorrect. Peer-review can be overwhelming at times, but it is a beneficial part of the creation process.

The best part, however, is the satisfaction of creating concise, aligned learning materials that are no cost to your students. Really, any program, any discipline can do this!


Step 5: Publish Your Resource

After you have checked your resource an innumerable amount of times, you are ready to publish your resources. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Sharing the resource with your library to be hosted on their website
  • Marking an open textbook as public so it can be shared and found by users
  • Submitting your work to OER Commons or other open networks to make it widely available
  • Sharing it through other relevant platforms, like YouTube, Vimeo, and other open options.

The Timeline

This process is highly subjective, the time it will take one person to create a resource versus the time it will take another person will vary greatly. It is not a clear cut process. Develop your materials at the rate that works for you and your work schedule. If you have a course development timeline you have to work within, it may be helpful to work as a team or with others to finish on time.


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Advanced Engagement by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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