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Open Educational Resources (OER): Evaluate OER

Evaluate OER: Will an OER work for your needs?

Open educational resources are becoming increasingly popular. With more options to choose from, how do you know if an OER works for part or all of your course content? Use the resources below to evaluate the OER you find.

Rubrics to evaluate OER

Evaluate Open Textbooks

The below criteria from BCcampus may help you evaluate an open textbook for your course:

  1. Comprehensiveness – The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
  2. Content Accuracy – Content, including diagrams and other supplementary material, is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
  3. Relevance/Longevity – Content is up to date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete. The text is written and arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy to implement.
  4. Clarity – The text is written in lucid, accessible way, and provides adequate context for any jargon used.
  5. Consistency – The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
  6. Modularity – The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
  7. Organization/Structure/Flow – The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
  8. Interface – The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.
  9. Grammatical Errors – The text contains no grammatical errors.
  10. Cultural Relevance – The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
  11. Are there any other observations you can make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a US context or specific updates you think need to be made?
  12. For what level would this text be appropriate (i.e. 100 level, 200 level, etc.)?

This content is a derivative of the Peer Review criteria used by Saylor.org, available at www.saylor.org/open-textbook-challenge-peer-review-criteria, which is a derivative of the review rubric used by College Open Textbooks, available at collegeopentextbooks.ning.com/page/review-2. Minimal changes were made to address a US audience. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.