A typical question asked about Open Educational Resources is: Are these quality materials?
Oxford defines quality as: the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
Consider another approach from David Wiley, a significant figure in the open education movement: “For educational materials, the degree to which they support learning is the only meaning of quality we should care about.”
No matter which definition is more meaningful to you, as the instructor you are best suited to evaluate teaching materials for your course. Evaluating open content works in essentially the same way as evaluating any other content. You, as the instructor and subject expert, know best if a resource is appropriate for your needs.
Here are a few rubrics you can use to evaluate OER. The same evaluation principles can be applied to non-open resources as well.
"Checklist for Evaluating Open Educational Resources (OER)" by ACC Office of Instructional & Faculty Development is licensed under. This work is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Most course redesigns do not involve editing the textbook, but it’s important to remember that most OER can be modified to fit local needs if desired…that’s one of their best features! Non-open resources cannot be modified.
Here are some important considerations for the adaptability of open textbooks, in case you want to modify the book:
Coolidge, A., Doner, S., Robertson, T., & Gray, J. (2018). Accessibility Toolkit. (2nd ed.)
Consider the following questions related to accuracy of content:
Consider the following questions related to clarity of content:
Consider the following related to the authority of the resource:
Open Textbook Library screenshot by Open Textbook Network. This work is licensed under CC BY 4.0.