OER Handbook/educator/Style guide

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This is a style guide for the collaborative editing of the OER handbook. Issues relating to style have been logged on the Issue tracker, and this page is used to document style decisions for this development

Hierarchy, structure and headings

  1. On each page, which is effectively a subsection of the main "Chapters" of the handbook (e.g. Introduction, Find OER, Create OER etc) each new heading should start with using level 2 heading (i.e. ==The four "R's" of OER== on the Why OER subsection of the Introduction Chapter of the Handbook.
  2. Subsequent subheadings on the page use level 3, 4 etc as needed.
  3. Each page uses the {{MyTitle| Foo}} template to display a user friendly title for the page. The main page header is effectively a Level 1 heading and will be printed as a Level 1 heading in the print version.
  4. There must always be text between headings. Don't have two headings following each other without intervening text -- this unprofessional. Write a paragraph if needed - without this the print version looks amateursh <smile>. So for example at the top of each page we should have a paragraph before starting with the first heading. See for example the leading paragraph on Introduction page before the next subheading "Defining OER".

Terminology guidelines

  1. OER for both plural and singular; change to "resource" or "resources"
  2. "OpenCourseWare"
  3. GNU/Linux, as opposed to simply "Linux."
  4. "FLOSS" as opposed to "OSS" etc.
  5. "life cycle"
  6. Use "localize" when there is a linguistic/ cultural/ regional/ locational connotation and the broader "adapt" when this is not obvious (e.g. adapt to my teaching style) or referring to both.

Visual guidelines

To maintain a constant grid for visual design: (Still requires discussion and finalization)

  1. Most images should be of the thumbnail type and 400px wide. Right or left justification at the discretion of the visual designer for balance.
  2. In cases where a large portrait image is required, a minimum size of 700px? is prefered and should be centred without wrapping the text.
  3. Visual design may require some tweaking of the copy text to improve flow and visual balance of the text.


  • Standardise 's's to 'z's (i.e. standardize :-) for .us readers.
  • "or" spelling for (color, honor, etc.) for .us readers.
  • No split infinitives - "to boldly go" --> "to go boldly" for .uk readers.
  • Apostrophes for possessives only (not plurals) for .uk readers.
  • Incomplete sentences are allowed, but only in definitional contexts such as repository listings or glossary defintions.
  • Consistency with terms - this need not be too rigorous (e.g. depending on context 'compose' may be replaced with 'create'/'build'/'develop'/'produce' as appropriate) - but at least get it right for the chapter/section headings and short-cuts.

Markup guidelines

<ref> tags should be used with hyperlinks that would be helpful in print versions

Other Formatting

Some thing: foo (as opposed to Some thing: Foo).

Move Pages

Use "Move" function whenever moving pages to maintain the Talk pages.