There are many OER materials available for use, but finding the right one to fit your instructional needs can initially feel like a challenge. Here are some things to consider when evaluating OER for your class:

  • Content: Does the content within the OER cover the topics you would like your students to learn in the course?
  • Accessibility: Is the content accessible to all students? Are there any accessibility issues for students with or without disabilities?
  • Licensing: What type of licensing is used? Does that license allow you to reuse, revise, and redistribute to your needs?
  • Quality: Is the content at the appropriate level for the course? Can you expect students to navigate and process the information within the resource?
  • Use: Is it a useful resource for you students to refer to both in and out of class? Will this resource help students learn the material and complete the course with the knowledge you wish them to have?

Some OER repositories have their own review process that they post along with their materials. Repositories like OER Commons and Merlot have their own evaluation process that can assist with your decision on whether or not to adapt that OER material for your own course.

OER Evaluation Tools

Although there are no official benchmarks for OER evaluation, there do exist ways to properly evaluate materials you wish to use. Think of the process of adapting an OER textbook the same as reviewing any other textbook or materials for your course and the length that process requires. These materials can help aid in your evaluation of OER materials.

  • OER Checklist: A useful and quick resource to use while evaluating a potential OER textbook.
  • OER Rubric: For instructors adapting OER for the first time, this rubric can assist in your ability to determine whether or not that OER material is right for your course.
  • Comprehensive OER Rubric: For instructors who are comfortable with the OER adaptation process, this rubric provides an in-depth look of your selected OER material.