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What should I consider when choosing an OER?
All resources require assessment to check they
meet your teaching needs. Similar criteria students apply for evaluating information could be applied to assessing OERs.
We recommend asking the following questions:
Has it been peer reviewed?
Are there clear instructions on how to use the resource?
How has it been licensed (e.g. under a Creative Commons licence)?
Does it meet accessibility requirements?
Can it be used on multiple devices?
Can it be used on different web browsers?
You might have other questions which are also important. Your
Liaison Librarian can also help you with some of these questions.
Once you have chosen an OER you should check your links regularly to ensure they can still be accessed by your students.
Resources for evaluating OERs
Achieve.org has comprehensive information and rubrics for evaluating OERs including a handbook detailing each of the seven rubrics.
Accessibility Toolkit is designed for authors of OERs and has a useful checklist for evaluating the accessibility of an open resource.
OER repositories with quality checks
The following sites have quality checks on the resources available:
MERLOT allows a search to be filtered by peer review, editor review, licence type, accessibility, and other evaluative criteria.
OpenStax textbooks undergo a peer review process prior to publication.
OASIS allows a search to be filtered by license and whether the resource has been reviewed.
OER Commons resources can be filtered according to whether they have been evaluated against OER evaluation rubrics.
Checklist for evaluating OERs
This checklist can be used to evaluate an OER to ensure it is appropriate for use.
Licensed for open use
CC licence allows for educational reuse
CC licence allows for modification and adaption
Resource is in the 'public domain' (out of copyright or CC0 licence)
Creator is identifiable and reputable
Resource is peer-reviewed
Content is up-to-date
Necessary updates will be relatively straightforward to implement
Text covers subject area appropriately and has an effective index/glossary
Text is clearly written and understandable
Topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion
Content is appropriate for student's level
Resource is referenced
Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
The resource can be used on multiple devices
The resource can be used on different web browsers
There are clear instructions on use/download
Rubric developed by BCcampus. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Adapted from https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/reviews/rubric.
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