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Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide provides information and resources to help support you learn about OER, find and evaluate existing OER, adopt OER, and create OER projects.

Evaluating Open Education Resources

With so many freely available resources online, selecting appropriate OERs for your course can be overwhelming.

The checklist below contains some suggestions for faculty when choosing resources for use in the classroom.

1. Relevance

Does the information directly address one or more of the class objectives? 

2. Production Quality

Is the information clear and understandable?  

Is the layout and interface easy to navigate?

Do the design features enhance learning?

For multimedia resources, is the quality of the audio, video, and/or graphics high?

3. Accessibility

Is the resource available in alternative formats (e.g. .doc or .odf)?

For audio or video resources, is a transcript or subtitles made availabe? 

The BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit is a great resource for evaluating accessibility

4. Interactivity

Does the resource encourage active learning and class participation?

If not, are you able to add these components to the resource?

Are there opportunities for students to test their understanding of the material (e.g. a video with embedded questions, H5P activities, etc.)? 

5. Licensing

Does the license allow for educational reuse of the materials? 

Does the license allow modifications or adaptations of the materials?

If so, can you modify the resource to better fit the class objectives or encourage active learning?

6. Accuracy

Is the information accurate?

Are there major content errors or omissions?

Are there spelling errors or typos?

Has the material been peer reviewed?  

For further information see:

JISC. (2016). Open Educational Resources infoKit [wiki].

Shank, J. D. (2014). Interactive open educational resources: A guide to finding, choosing, and using what's out there to transform college teaching. Jossey-Bass. Link to ebook (University of Calgary subscription).

Other OER Evaluation Resources


This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) unless otherwise noted. Content adapted from work done by BC Campus, Simon Fraser University, University of British ColumbiaGeorge Washington University and more.