Open Educational Resources (OER)
Here are a few steps you might take in the evaluation process. If this process seems lengthy, think about the process you follow to review textbooks and other materials for your course. You can use a similar or modified evaluation process to that.
- Does this OER cover the content you'd like your students to learn in this course or module?
- How accessible is this content? Will it be accessible for your students or is it too technical? Or, vice versa, is it robust and challenging enough for your students?
- How can you use the content? Verify the license that the resource is under. Can you remix or revise the OER as long as it isn't for commercial purposes? Who do you have to recognize if you use it? Will you be able to do so?
- Once you determine how you can use the OER, what would you like to do with it? Does only a portion of it apply to your class? Would you possibly want to combine this OER with another OER or resource? Does the Library have access to articles that could act as supplemental readings?
- As you collect more OER and other resources, save them in a central location. Take note of how you envision using them. Align these resources with the learning objectives and weekly lessons on your syllabus in order to identify gaps.
OER Evaluation Checklist
You’ve found an OER. Congrats! Now you should go through a quick evaluation process to determine whether it’s right for your purposes. Research the following in your evaluation process. Also keep track of what might need to be improved so you can enhance the OER for your own purposes.
- Peer Review available or used
- Reputation of author/institution is transparent
- Pedagogical methods are sound
- Allows for customization or refinement
- Content is accurate
- Sources are identified and cited
- Some alignment with a learning outcome or course objective
- Appropriate reading/domain level for your students
- High technical quality (clear visuals, high production value)
- Clear licensing declaration (Creative Commons License present, in the Public Domain, etc.)
- License to remix or share again
NOTE: This resource was reused and adapted from Kirkwood Community College Library's guide on open textbooks. It was developed by Sarah Crissinger, Information Literacy Graduate Assistant. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
OER Evaluation Rubric
- Alignment to individual course objectives
- Content valid and appropriately current?
- Content understandable by target audience?
- Content authoritative and appropriate (age level, language, visuals, cultural sensitivity)?
- Content present main ideas clearly?
- Content connect associated concepts?
- Are instructions for use provided?
- Do the components of the OER function as intended?
- Does functionality require specific software or hardware?
- Is the OER licensed for open use? (CC license for reuse, remix, revise, redistribution)
- Is content adaptable or revisable?
- Is metadata available?
- Is assessment aligned to the content?
- Does the assessment measure and appropriately weight the major concepts of the content?
- Does the structure of the assessment support an accurate measurement of proficiency?
- Does the OER functionality allow individualized learning by being flexible or adapting to individual control?
- Is the OER functionality well designed and functions as expected on the intended platform?
- Does the OER functionality invite student use or encourage learning?
- Does the OER offer more exercises than needed for the average student to master elementary content?
- Does the OER offer one to two rich practice exercises for complex content?
- Are exercises clearly written?
- Are exercises keyed and scored with appropriate documentation?
- Is there a variety of exercise types and formats appropriate for the intended content?
- Does the OER offer opportunities for deeper learning by incorporating at least three of the following:
- Thinking critically and solving complex problems
- Working collaboratively
- Reasoning abstractly
- Constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others
- Communicating effectively
- Applying discrete knowledge to real world situations
- Constructing, using, or analyzing models?
- Does the OER offer a range of cognitive demand that is appropriate and supportive of content?
- Does the OER provide appropriate scaffolding and direction?
- Does the OER comply with current ADA accessibility standards?