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Open Educational Resources (OER)

An introduction to finding, evaluating, and using Open Educational Resources

Step-by-Step Evaluation

OER Evaluation Checklist

Quality

  • Peer Review available or used  
  • Reputation of author/ institution is transparent
  • Pedagogical methods are sound
  • Allows for customization or refinement

Appropriateness

  • Content is accurate
  • Sources are identified and cited
  • Some alignment with a learning outcome or course objective
  • Appropriate reading/ domain level for your students

Technical

  • 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

Box inspired by University Library at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Unexpected Barriers

While open licenses provide users with legal permission to rework and access course materials, many open content publishers make technical choices that interfere with a user's ability to engage in those same activities. 

  1. Access to Editing Tools: Is the open content published in a format that can only be revised or remixed using tools that are extremely expensive? Is the open content published in an exotic format that can only be revised or remixed using tools that run on an obscure or discontinued platform? Is the open content published in a format that can be revised or remixed using tools that are freely available and run on all major platforms?

  2. Level of Expertise Required: Is the open content published in a format that requires a significant amount technical expertise to revise or remix? Is the open content published in a format that requires a minimum level of technical expertise to revise or remix ?

  3. Meaningfully Editable: Is the open content published in a manner that makes its content essentially impossible to revise or remix (a scanned image of a handwritten document)? Is the open content published in a manner making its content easy to revise or remix?

  4. Self-Sourced: It the format preferred for consuming the open content the same format preferred for revising or remixing the open content? Is the format preferred for consuming the open content different from the format preferred for revising or remixing the open content?

http://opencontent.org/definition/