Case 2 - Creative Typography

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Locating and adopting OER content Case : Creative Typography

Let's say I want to teach a hands-on course about Typography for the Art department. I don't have a lot of time to develop the course, so I would like to use an existing full course OER if one exists. Searching through the OER Commons listings, there 1356 Arts subject area entries. By filtering for Full courses and Post-secondary, there are 179 entries. Searching for Typography, there are 4 entries.

Creative Typography of January 2008

OER Commons listing : Creative Typography

Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Course Related Materials
Grade Level: Post-secondary
Author: Carolyn Brown
Subject: Arts
Institution Name: Foothill College
Collection Name: Sofia - Foothill De Anza College

Abstract: Exploration and experimentation with letter forms and page layout for expressive communication. Fundamental typographic principles, font recognition, and analysis of both historical and post modern design theory. Emphasis on content, form, and technique for effective use of typography in ads, posters, newsletters and other visual communications.

Course Type: Full Course
Material Types: Syllabi, Homework and Assignments, Assessments, Discussion Forums, Activities and Labs
Media Formats: Text/HTML, Graphics/Photos
Language: English

Conditions of Use: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5

Sofia Open Content Initiative
Creative Typography

Locating and adopting OER content

Listed below are some of the issues for considered when selecting and adopting the Creative Typography OER for this case study.


  • learning objectives - explore letter forms and page layouts, fundamental typography principles, font design analysis, hands-on experience with effective use in visual communications
  • course outline - 12 week quarter course, reading, assignments, projects
  • content requirements - selection criteria - all course material included with links to web resources, attractive presentation, instructor's notes
  • repositories - listed in OER Commons
  • trusted sources, recommendations - Hewlett Foundation funded Sofia Project selected community college course (UC/CSU transfer credits)

Search and selection

  • rating, reviews - not rated as of 1Feb2008, but Sophia Project courses were evaluated for selection and edited for inclusion in the course gallery
    • course evaluation checklist - comprehensive list of questions to guide review to assess the quality of the course pedagogy, curriculum design, materials and learning activities. Also used to plan additions and modifications for local teaching requirements.
  • full course - Selecting a full course will save time and effort. The background work has already been completed - course outline, design, text, activities, projects, quizzes. However becoming familiar with the content takes time. Understanding the thinking behind some of the information presented may require research. Resolving conflicts and adding personalization or localization may requires additional work.
  • learning modules - the course is composed of 10 lessons with related projects and activities
  • course related materials - no instructor's guide is provided


  • course management system - Integrating the content into Moodle, the college's learning management system will require some planning. Because these pages are attractive HTML pages, they can be added to the course as web resources and can be displayed in a new window or as a frame within the Moodle course. This is a matter of personal preference as either works fine.
    • hosting content - direct student to access the content where it is OR copy the content to some course specific location - may depend on the OER provider requirements
    • links - all the course pages contain a number of links within the course material. Some link to external resources
  • lesson template - Each lesson in the course follows a standardized layout. However, learning objectives need to be added to each lesson presentation.
  • some assembly required
  • weeding and pruning - include, extraneous, missing
  • modify, re-mix, create
  • quality review - Course Evaluation Checklist


  • use
  • feedback, critique

Knowledge building and sharing

  • annotation
  • revisions, enhancements