Learning Path

Digital Teaching: Expert

Digital Teaching: Expert

Digital Teaching: Expert

This pathway offers food for thought and more in-depth insights into the new methods and opportunities digital and online teaching provides. It is suitable for everyone who wishes to expand their teaching repertoire and is keen to experiment with innovative approaches. You will get to know new techniques and methods, and will be able to test them out, reflect on the results, and improve your teaching in the process.


Open Educational Resources

Topic: Understanding and using creative commons    Time: 5 min

Understanding Open Licences

Open licences provide permission to freely use copyrighted works under the terms and conditions set by the licence.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licences are the most commonly used licences for sharing open educational resources. Creative Commons is a US based non-profit organization and international network whose aim is to overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges.

Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons provides a range of open licences that provide a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; while ensuring proper attribution; and allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.

All Creative Commons licences are:

  • Accompanied by a human-readable summary and a licence deed.
  • Applicable worldwide.
  • Backwards compatible – current versions of the licences are compatible with earlier versions.
  • Last for the duration of the copyright of the work.
  • Non-exclusive – copyright holders have the right to share their work under multiple licences.
  • Irrevocable – once a work has been published under a CC license, licensees may continue using it according to the license terms for the duration of applicable copyright and similar rights. Copyright holders may stop distributing their work under the CC license at any time, but anyone who has access to a copy of the material may continue to use and redistribute it under the CC license terms.

Creative Commons licences range from permissive (CC BY) to restrictive (CC BY-NC-ND).

Types of CC license
Types of CC license, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://foter.com/blog/how-to-attribute-creative-commons-photos/

The terms of the licence will dictate how you can use the resources.  For an overview of the different Creative Commons licences see Choosing a Creative Commons Licence (link) and for information about licence restrictions please visit How to use OERs (link)

Public domain and CC0

Public domain resources are no longer under protection, e.g. copyright has expired, or have been actively dedicated to the public for free use, e.g. using the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation. 

REFERENCES + LICENSE: The text “understanding open licences” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/understanding-open-licences/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

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Topic: Being able to find, use and publish OERs for educational purposes.    Time: 10 min

Creating and Sharing OER

Open Educational Resources enable teachers to share knowledge globally and for it to be re-purposed, so they can refer to ready-made resources when planning their teaching. Follow the link for a demonstration of how OERs can be made publicly available.

What to consider when creating an OER?

If you are creating open educational resources, or if you wish to apply a Creative Commons licence to existing resources, please consider the following points.

  1. Do you have permission to use and share any third party content included in the resource? This means any content you do not own the copyright of, e.g. an image or diagram created by someone else.
  2. Have you included attribution and license information for all third party content you include in the resource? If you include any Creative Commons licensed content created by a third party, you must include attribution to the creator and the licence information.  We also recommend that you provide attribution to any public domain content that you use.
  3. Are you able to provide alternative formats for those who need them? This might include people who find certain resources hard to access because of visual impairment, dyslexia, mental health conditions or other special requirements.
  4. If your resource includes images, have they been alt tagged with descriptions?  Alt tags help people who use screen readers to access online content.
  5. If you are creating video resources, have you included subtitles? Media Hopper Create provides automated subtitling.
  6. Have you added a Creative Commons licence?  Make sure you add a Creative Commons licence to your resource.  If your resource includes third party open licensed content, you must make sure that you use a compatible open licence.


If you want people to be able to re-purpose and re-use your open educational resources, please consider making them available in an easily customisable format so that users can adapt them to meet the needs of their own learners.

Choosing a Creative Commons Licence for your resource

Creative Commons licenses provide a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; while ensuring proper attribution; and allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.

When you are choosing a Creative Commons licence, it is important to think carefully about how you want your resource to be used, as different licences provide different permissions.

If you are considering using a Non-Commercial licence, which will prevent anyone from using your resource for commercial purposes, you may find that applying a Share-Alike licence will meet your needs by ensuring that any new work incorporating yours must also be made freely available under the same licence for others to use and re-mix.

If you are considering using a No-Derivatives licence, it is important to be aware that this will significantly limit how your resource can be reused, as this licence prevents the resources from being altered in any way.  There may be good reasons for choosing this licence, e.g. if the content of your resource could potentially become misleading if it was changed in any way, however we recommend that you think carefully before choosing this licence.

Adding a Creative Commons Licence to your resource

It’s very easy to apply a Creative Commons licence to your work.  The simplest way is to write the licence as a string of text, e.g.

© J. Smith, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA.

If you use the Creative Commons Licence Chooser it will allow you to copy an HTML embed code which will enable you to add your licence to any web page. This code includes machine readable metadata that allows software and applications to understand which licence you’ve applied to your work.

Creative Commons License CC-BY-SA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

If your resource contains third party content that has also been released under open licence you may want to add an additional clause to your licence statement.  Remember to always attribute any third party content that you use!

© J. Smith, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA, unless otherwise indicated.

Where possible, we recommend that your embed attribution and licence information in your resources, e.g. in a slide at the end of a video, rather than adding it to the page your resource is embedded in.  This will help to ensure the licence information doesn’t get lost when the resource is reused.

Where to share your open educational resources

Written and interactive digital teaching resources should be published in an appropriate repository or public-access website in order to maximise discovery and use by others. Where OERs have been created as part of an externally funded activity, any storage and/or repository locations mandated as a condition of the funding should be used.

You are encouraged to share your Creative Commons licensed resources anywhere that they can be found by others.

REFERENCES + LICENSES: The text “What to consider when creating an OER” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/what-to-consider-when-creating-an-oer/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

The text “Choosing a Creative Commons Licence for your resource” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/choosing-a-creative-commons-licence-for-your-resource/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

The text “Adding a Creative Commons Licence to your resource” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/adding-a-creative-commons-licence-to-your-resource/,  is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

The text “Where to share your open educational resources” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/where-to-share-your-open-educational-resources/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened and rephrased by SEA-EU.

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Topic: Being able to find, use and publish OERs for educational purposes.    Time: 10 min

How to Use OER

With Open Educational Resources, teachers can both share knowledge globally so that it can be re-purposed and also access ready-made resources for use in their own teaching. Follow the link to learn more about how to access and re-use OERs.

Re-using and Re-purposing OERs

Open educational resources are digital resources used in the context of teaching and learning that have been released under an open licence permitting their use and re-purposing by others.

The real value of open educational resources is that they can be adapted, customised, and re-contextualised to meet the specific needs of learners.  This might involve translating a resource, changing examples to a local context, using only part of a resource, or combining a resource with other materials.  There are many different ways you can re-use and re-purpose OERs.  However, it is important that you comply with the licence restrictions of any open educational resources you use, as outlined below.

Providing attribution

In order to use a Creative Commons licensed open educational resource you must provide attribution to the creator.  Good attribution includes the following information:

Title: The title of the resource.

Creator: The name of the creator or copyright holder of the resource.

Licence: The licence of the resource.

Source: A link to the original source of the resource.

Creative Commons licence restrictions

Some restrictions to be aware of when using open educational resources

You must always Attribute the creator of a resource.

NonCommercial licences restrict the use of a work to non-commercial use only.  When using NC licensed content you should consider how the work will be used, not the nature of the organisation using it. For example, commercial organisations can legitimately use NC licensed content for not for profit purposes. 

You must not make any changes to works licensed No Derivatives. This includes, but is not limited to, adding subtitles, making translations or cropping images.  This means that while CC BY-ND resources can be re-used, they can not be adapted, edited, or re-purposed.

You must share derivatives of ShareAlike licensed works under the same licence.

Using Public Domain resources

If you are using a public domain resource, you do not need to provide attribution, however it is useful to mark it as a public domain resource and include a link to the original source so other users will know that they can also re-use it.

Where to find OERs

There are many different repositories and websites where you can easily find open education resources.

Open Repositories

Open repositories allow anyone to upload and download learning resources, often in multiple formats, for reuse and remixing. Theses repositories provide a wide variety of open educational resources, which are often accompanied by information about educational levels, aims and objective, and how resources can be used.

Specialised Content Sites

Additionally there are many generic online services that host specific media formats. Some you may be familiar with include Flickr, Soundcloud, and YouTube.  Most of these sites provide advanced search functionality to enable you to find Creative Commons licensed resources that can be used in education.

Finding OERs using search services

There are a number of search services that allow you quickly and easily find a wide range of open educational resources and open licensed content.


Google allows you to filter your search results in order to find Creative Commons licensed images.

To do this, go to Google Image search https://www.google.co.uk/imghp and enter your search term. Click the Tools option to bring up an additional menu bar that enables you to  filter your search results by size, colour, usage rights, type and time.

Select  ‘Usage rights’ to choose from a drop down menu with the following options:

  • Not filtered by license
  • Labeled for reuse with modification
  • Labeled for reuse
  • Labelled for noncommercial reuse with modification
  • Labeled for non-commercial reuse

 Selecting “Labeled for reuse” will return all Creative Commons licensed images.

Note: Before reusing content, check the licence details on the source page and check the exact terms of reuse. For example, the licence might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image or have additional requests that Google is unable to pick up in a general search.

Reverse Image Search

You can use the Google Chrome browser to search for the source of an image. Right click the image and select “Search Google for image”. This should help you to find the original source of an image and any associated licence information.  

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons have their own CC Search service that allows you to search for open licensed and public domain images from a wide range of sources including Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, Smithsonian, Europeana, NASA, Rijksmuseum and more.

The service provides attribution and licence information to copy and share in three different formats.

There is also a CC Search browser extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera which allows you to search for and filter CC licensed content.


Europeana allows you to cross search thousands of European archives, libraries and museums to find cultural heritage content of all kinds.  Europeana’s advanced search facility has a number of filters including “Can I use this?” which enables you to find public domain and open licensed content.

REFERENCES + LICENSES: The text “How to use OERs” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/how-to-use-oers/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

The text “Where to find OERs” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/where-to-find-oers-2/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

The text “Finding OERs using search devices” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/finding-oers-using-search-services/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

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Topic: Being able to find, use and publish OERs for educational purposes.    Time: 10 min

Planning an OER Project

Do you want to create your own OER or OER project? You can use this canvas to help you from idea collection to making a concrete plan. It responds to the following questions: what do teachers and others have to consider when planning an OER project? How do you proceed? The guide can be downloaded and printed.

License: The canvas „OER project" by Sandra Schön and Martin Ebner 2018, Originally developed in German for OERinfo – Informationsstelle OER (2017) - https://open-educational-resources.de/der-oer-canvas-teil-1/, translated by the authors with support of Alicia Bankhofer and Javiera Atenas, via http://education.okfn.org/handbooks/oer-canvas/, is licensed by CC BY.

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Topic: Know why and how to create accessible content    Time: 90 min

Digital Accessibility in Higher Education

What is "digital accessibility" in higher education teaching? This seminar (see link) explains it in terms of the need to "clarify the roles and responsibilities for an institutional digital accessibility strategy and highlight some key steps content creators involved in teaching must take to ensure their resources are optimally accessible". In addition, the seminar offers guidance on best practice, online tools, and other resources. The presentation on which it is based can also be downloaded as well as a podcast on the topic.

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Topic: Know why and how to create accessible content    Time: 60 min

Digital Accessibility Toolkit

Accessibility is essential for making educational opportunities available to all students, including those with disabilities. This toolkit (see link) offers resources, tips, and information that can provide guidance on how to ensure accessibility as part of the educational equation. The following topics are addressed: what accessibility is, the procurement of accessible technology, the benefits of digital accessibility, and legal requirements for digital accessibility.

License: not freely licensed

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Topic: Know why and how to create accessible content    Time: 10 min

Creating Accessible Content

How can you best accommodate students with disabilities in your teaching? The first step is to make any documents, handouts, notes, or presentations accessible. Click on the link below for advice on how to structure the information in your texts and slides so that they can be more easily processed by assistive technologies such as Screen Readers.

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Topic: Discovering what peer-learning is and what event formats exist    Time: 5 min

Introduction to Peer-to-Peer Learning

Peer-to-peer learning is a widely used approach that is particularly useful for small-group factual discussions. Here, students learn with and from each other. Expert groups in which learners pass information to each other are similar. The accompanying short video from NEOMA Business School illustrates how this method works.

License: not freely licensed

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Topic: Discovering what peer-learning is and what event formats exist    Time: 10 min

Power of Peers in Higher Education

The advantages of peer learning can prove invaluable, for example how it can bring life to a standard university activity. This is particularly the case for conventional lectures, in which there is a trade-off between the desire to show empathy for individual students and a tight time frame. The following article focuses on this dilemma and provides insights into universities that have resolved it by developing peer learning initiatives such as Harvard University’s "Knack" programme.

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Communicate with Students

Topic: Stay connected with students    Time: 10 min

Virtual Office Hours – Overview

Office hours and consultations are vital in digital teaching and learning as they show students you are interested in them and their learning and that you are available to respond to their questions. The following link takes you to guidance from Columbia University on how best to hold online office hours and consultations.

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Topic: Stay connected with students    Time: 15 min

Holding Virtual Office Hours

Just like in-person office hours, virtual office hours support student learning through one-on-one interactions between students and teachers or teaching assistants (TAs). They are a way of addressing student questions on course material and assignments both online and in real time.

Using Bongo and WebEx

Similar to in-person office hours, virtual office hours support student learning through one-on-one interactions between students and instructors or TAs. They are an online means of addressing – in real time – student questions about course material and assignments. Research on student learning suggests that “Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of classes is the most important factor in student motivation and involvement” (Chickering & Gamson, 1986, p. 3).  

What tools can I use for my virtual office hours? 

Virtual office hours can be facilitated through three centrally-supported video conferencing platforms and another non-video conferencing platform: WebEx Meetings, MS Teams and Piazza. These three platforms support communication by audio, video, and text, as well as a white board for drawing diagrams or mathematical symbols. To help you select a platform for online office hours, we’ve outlined the following options.

Office Hours using Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams is helpful for both visual meetings and chat-based meetings. It allows you to record your meetings and write down meeting notes, which may improve the quality of your meetings.

Resource: Microsoft Teams Instruction

  • Option 1: Drop-in office hours 
    Set up an office hour which the whole class can attend. You can invite all of the students to the Microsoft Teams meeting by your outlook email (which you can book an appointment and invite all students by adding events on your schedule). Thus, students can log in to MS Teams and join in the team meeting at any time during the office hour. The meeting group will appear in MS Teams’ chat after if you chat with your students during the meeting, so that you can always come back and check your record video and meeting notes, or even start a new meeting with this group again.
  • Option 2: “By appointment” office hours 
    Set up several available time for students to choose, then book an appointment and invite the student who books the time only to the MS Teams meeting. This will allow only you and the student into the meeting room.

Office Hours using Virtual Classroom (Bongo) 

Virtual Classroom (VC) is a good option for virtual office hours if Bongo is already used elsewhere in your course, such as for Video Assignments. VC allows you to choose the format for your virtual office hours: drop-ins or scheduled appointments. 

Resource: Virtual Classroom instructions 

  • Option 1: Drop-in office hours
    Set up virtual office hours as a recurring meeting that the whole class can attend. There is no “waiting room,” which means any student can just “drop in.” If another student is already in your virtual office, discussing something private, you can ask the new student to come back at a specific time and then remove them. However, if they disregard the time you’ve suggested, they will be able to keep popping back in. 
  • Option 2: “By appointment” office hours 
    Set up virtual office hours and then ask students to choose one of the meeting slots that you’ve made available. This is the most equitable option especially if your students are in different time zones. Typically, office hours are scheduled in 20-minute increments. If multiple students have the same concern, seek their permission to host them together.  

Office Hours using WebEx Meetings

Resources: WebEx Meetings interface explained

  • Options 1 and 2 would be the same as for Virtual Classroom, above. 
  • Option 3: Drop-in option with waiting room 

This option uses the Lock Meeting and Lobby features of WebEx. A student logs into WebEx and starts off in a “lobby” (a virtual waiting room). You then admit the student to the WebEx meeting. When other students enter the “lobby”, you will receive a notification for each one. To lock the meeting at the start of the office hours, to prevent students from dropping in without permission, go to Meeting > Lock Meeting: 

Screenshot: Office Hours using WebEx Meetings, lock meeting
Virtual office hours using WebEx Meetings: lock meeting

When students are placed in the “lobby,” they will receive a “welcome message.” You can customize this message for students, for example, letting them know you are currently with a student, and that you will let them into the meeting in a few minutes. To create a “welcome message,” go to Meeting > Welcome Message:  

Screenshot: Office Hours using WebEx Meetings, welcome message
Virtual office hours using WebEx Meetings: welcome message

When you are ready for your next drop-in, click “Waiting to Join” to see the names of students waiting in the “lobby” and then click “Let in” beside the name of the student you’ll next meet with. 

Office Hours using Piazza 

Piazza is quite different than Virtual Classroom (Bongo), WebEx Meetings and MS Teams, since it is designed to be a question-and-answer based platform. Although it cannot offer a face-to-face meeting, it can still help with office hours.Resource: Piazza instruction

How will my students find information about my virtual office hours?  

When using Virtual Classroom (Bongo) for office hours, students go to Connect > Virtual Classroom to see your available office hours. If you have set up private office hours with a student, then only that student will see those office hours.  

When using WebEx, you’ll need to copy and paste the meeting information to a content page or homepage widget. To copy the meeting information, click the “copy” icon when looking at your meeting information (the yellow highlight in the following image): 

screenshot: virtual office hours
Virtual office hours using WebEx

How do I prepare for my virtual office hours?  


  • Set up specific times for your virtual office hours (e.g., Wednesdays 3-4pm); for weekly office hours, aim for different dates/times of the day 
  • Post a welcoming message in your course announcements to let students know about your virtual office hours (“Welcome to My Virtual Office”) 
  • Tell students what they need to do (e.g., instructions on when and how to log in) 
  • Give students a lot of encouragement to take advantage of virtual office hours and remind them that you are available to provide help
  • Send them another reminder before “high traffic” weeks, such as before exams or assignment deadlines 


  • Spend at least an hour getting to know the tool that you’ll be using for your office hours, its key features and how they are used 
  • Have one “trial run” office hour session with a fellow TA or a student volunteer 
  • Make sure you know how to:  
    • (un)mute your microphone
    • switch on/off your webcam
    • share/hide your desktop if you plan to display or review content with your students
    • use a whiteboard tool to draw symbols and equations during numerical or formula-driven sessions

What else should I consider when holding virtual office hours? 


  • Both Bongo (Virtual Classroom) and WebEx allow for recording of the session. Due to privacy considerations, ensure that recording is turned off during virtual office hours.


  • Bandwidth refers to the rate of data transfer. Tools that require low bandwidth are text-based such as email, chat and discussion groups. Tools requiring medium bandwidth are audio-based like podcasts and mini-lectures or discussions that make use of audio but not video. Tools that require the highest bandwidth are ones that employ video. If an online meeting with a student doesn’t require video, use just audio. 

Time zones 

  • When setting your virtual office hours, try to give some options to students as some of them might be in different time zones.  


  • Always make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date version of your internet browser.  
Chickering, A.W. & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), pp. 3-7. 
The text “Holding Virtual Office Hours Using Bongo and WebEx” by the Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo, via https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/virtual-meetings, is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0, rephrased and shortened by SEA-EU.

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Further Education: Communities

Topic: Knowing how to get in touch with colleagues    Time: 30 min

WikiEducator Community

WikiEducator is a growing community for the collaborative planning of education projects linked with the development of free content. This includes work on building open education resources (OERs) as well as on how to create OERs, and networking on funding proposals developed as free content. Find out more by having a look at the following link:


License: Content on the site "WikiEducator" is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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Topic: Knowing how to get in touch with colleagues    Time: 15 min

Education Twitter Chats

The exchange of experiences within a community or with other experts can hugely enrich your teaching. Online exchanges in which teachers can make contact with fellow teachers across distances and time zones can be really beneficial. It can sometimes be tricky to find a quiet spot in which to exchange thoughts about your profession though. Follow the link for a range of Twitter Chats which may help with this.

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Topic: Knowing how to get in touch with colleagues    Time: 15 min

Lumen Circles Community

Lumen Circles offers one way of networking with fellow teachers so that all parties can develop their teaching skills. Becoming a member allows you to attend courses and professional development workshops while also building a professional network.


License: not freely licensed

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