Selecting Digital Resources

Partner: Center for Social Innovation – CSI

In online learning, digital resources are essential. Digital Learning Resources are materials included in courses to assist learners in achieving specific learning objectives (Epigeum, 2019). These resources encompass various forms like digital videos, audios, software, websites, simulations, and online discussions (Yang, 2014). In higher education, these resources include multimedia materials, MOOCs, SPOCs, and micro-courses. Open Educational Resources (OER) are publicly available materials that can be freely used, adapted, and shared. Digital resources make learning more accessible and engaging, but careful consideration is needed when selecting appropriate resources for online learning activities (Huang et al., 2020)

Effective selection of digital resources involves careful planning and consideration of various factors. The first step can be to assess your institution’s technological and organizational setup, including available tools, policies, and support. Utilizing institution-provided software can ease technical issues and ensure smooth student usage. Utilizing search engines, both generic like Google and specialized ones like CC Search, OER Commons, and Merlot, can help you find suitable Open Educational Resources (OER) to meet your needs.

You can learn more about this topic by reading the following handbooks:

Guidance on open educational practices during school closures: Utilizing OER under COVID-19 pandemic in line with UNESCO OER recommendation (Huang et al., 2020). Beijing: Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University.

Guidance on Flexible Learning during Campus Closures: Ensuring course quality of higher education in COVID-19 outbreak (Huang et al., 2020). Beijing: Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University.

Selecting and evaluating digital learning resources can be guided by some criteria. Licensing must be considered. It is important that you select learning resources that have an open license or an agreement that has been approved by the creators/publishers so that you can reuse and remix them legally. An additional criterion is the accuracy and quality of the content. By using reliable digital learning platforms and resources, you can ensure the content or the publisher is reliable. Interactivity refers to the selection of digital learning resources with interactive elements, which can motivate and engage students. It is also important to consider adaptability. Make sure you choose resources that can be easily adapted to your needs. Moreover, choose digital learning resources that are culturally relevant and sensitive to prevent offensive information from appearing. Another criterion is content suitability. This suggests that digital learning resources should be relevant to learners’ learning objectives and content, as well as interesting and necessary. Suitability of difficulty implies that the contents moderately difficult and scaled to avoid cognitive overload among students. In addition, the suitability of the structure can be considered when selecting and evaluating digital resources. Make sure the content is structured in a logical and concise way, so students understand it without feeling confused. Media suitability suggests that media should be used appropriately to prevent visual fatigue. The suitability of resource organization should also be considered. To avoid confusion, arrange various types of learning resources such as text, video, animation, virtual experiments, etc., in an orderly manner.

You can read more about it here:

Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational

Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak (Huang et al., 2020).  Beijing: Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University.