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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide contains information on finding and evaluating open educational resources (OER), including open textbooks and open teaching tools.

Common Evaluation Factors

Choosing to use an OER is an important decision. You want to ensure that you are using the best quality resource. Many OER repositories or search engines offer some form of faculty or peer review for the resources, but you may want to complete your own evaluation of the resource. For that reason we have listed common factors to consider when evaluating OERs:

  • Discoverability - Is the resource easy for students to find? Did you find it easily the first time? Is there something the Libraries can do to make it easier to find?
  • Accessibility - Is the content accessible to all students, especially those with disabilities? 
  • Authority - Does the author or hosting organization have the appropriate credentials to create the work? Does the author or organization have a good reputation? 
  • Quality - Is the information in the resource accurate and of good quality? Is the information presented in a way that is easy to understand? 
  • Appropriateness - Is the content at an appropriate reading level? Is the content at an appropriate level for higher education?
  • Usability - Is the resource easy to use for you and the students? It is clear how to navigate between sections of the resource? 
  • Currency - Was the content created within a reasonable time frame considering the subject area? Is it updated or timely? 

Example Evaluations

Several non-profits and other similar organizations have created rubrics to assist potential OER users in evaluating these resources. Below are several examples of rubrics that can be used to determine the appropriateness of an OER. 

Do OER work?

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