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Open Educational Resources

A resource guide on Open Educational Resources

How to Evaluate OER

Some basic considerations when evaluating OER:

  1. Relevance: Currency and relevance to your course, does it have inclusive and diverse narratives?
  2. Expertise: Author affiliation and credibility.
  3. Bibliography / References: Presence of valid references, citations, and attributions.
  4. Reviews (# and score): is it peer reviewed (esp. pre-publication)?; is it externally edited?
  5. Format options: if it is digital, is it easily printed with no information loss? if it is physical, can it be easily copied and shared? is it available without special software?
  6. Licensing: Licensing terms are readily apparent and allow reuse with modification, does not require user to register or pay a fee
  7. Aesthetics: Interface and user experience (does the OER seem professional, free from errors, well organized, etc.)
  8. Accessibility: Meets ADA and web accessibility standards


Use a helpful guide or rubric:

BC Campus Faculty Guide for Evaluating Open Education Resources [pdf] 

Achieve's Rubrics for Evaluating OER [pdf]

University of Maryland Global Campus OER Quality Guide 

RCampus Evaluating OER rubric 

How to Find Reviews and Provider Criteria for OER

The OER libraries below enable reviews to be appended to their holdings. These reviews are extremely thorough and often by reputable faculty. To find reviews, select an OER and scroll down to the Reviews. 

Note that not all OER have received post-publication reviews.

OER providers have their own set of criteria for including content on their platforms: 

Smith Reviews of OER

Through our membership in the Open Education Network (OEN) Smith faculty can review OER in the Open Textbook Library. See our grant page for information on receiving a stipend to review open textbooks in your discipline.