According to Sumner and Dawe (2001), there are several major categories of modification:

Composition is creating a new resoource by combining existing resources. Cobbling together a course from different topical units, diagrams and syllabi or putting together lists of resource links for additional reading would be examples.
Factoring creates several resources out of one larger resource by breaking it down into simpler parts that can more easily shared. Imagine taking a "whole course" resource and splitting it into small chunks: syllabus, topical units, homeworks sets, exams, diagrams, tables, etc.
Refining is the process of modifying or adding to an existing resource without significantly changing its fundamental nature. When an existing resource is overly specific to a particular time, place or person, stripping out this information is necessary but doesn't change the content of the resource.
Abstraction refers to identifying commonalities across a number of resources and creating a new resource around these commonalities.

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