Teaching Matters

An introduction to the OEL Toolkit

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Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017


An introduction to the OEL Toolkit


Beale Gurney, Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching
Tony Carew, Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching


Making a Difference for Students

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre




The Open Educational Licensing (OEL) Toolkit (www.oel.edu.au/toolkit) is an award-winning online application, designed and developed by Luke Padgett, Beale Gurney, and Tony Carew. The Toolkit supports copyright officers, academics, librarians and teaching staff in the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the context of higher education in Australia.

Open education “encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide” (Open Education Consortium). One challenge regarding the effective application of Open Educational Practices (OEP) in Australia is academics’ perceived lack of understanding of copyright and licensing (Bossu, Brown, & Bull, 2014). The OEL Toolkit was developed to address these impediments in supporting university staff in accessing relevant OER. An example use case might concern an educator who has found an engaging, relevant online resource but doesn’t know whether they can share it with students legally. They use the Toolkit and discover, in this case, that they can, and they also receive guidance on how to share it. By removing the copyright and licensing barriers in this way, students can be provided with a richer range of high-quality learning resources.

The Toolkit is a web application in the form of a decision tree, whereby users may follow their path of questions to the guidance, as determined by their responses. This contextual guidance provides links to openly available support resources. The structure emulates a conversation between a copyright subject matter expert and someone seeking advice. A benefit of this approach is the ability to re-use existing information, and the strength of the Toolkit is the simplified user experience in accessing the most appropriate information. The decision tree approach is particularly advantageous to users who don’t know what they need to know, beneficial over static information formats, such as frequently asked question (FAQ) lists. Users are only presented with the most relevant guidance.

In 2017, the application was recognised internationally with the Open Education Consortium’s Open Education Award for Excellence.

In this presentation, two of the creators will demonstrate the purpose and functionality of the OEL Toolkit using a real-life example.


Bossu, C., Brown, M., & Bull, D. (2014). Adoption, use and management of Open Educational Resources to enhance teaching and learning in Australia.

Retrieved 26 September 2017 from Open Education Consortium.

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