Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) are pieces of information that are available for free use and adaptation for teaching or research purposes.

Evaluate OER

Here are a few steps you might take to evaluate OER.

Think about how you review textbooks and other materials for your course, and do something similar for OER:

  • Do these OER cover the content you'd like your students to learn in this course or module?
  • Is the level right for your students?
    • Will it be understandable for your students, or is it too technical?
    • Is it robust and challenging enough for your students?
  • How can you use the content?
    • Verify the license that the resource(s) is under.
    • Can you remix or revise the OER as long as it isn't for commercial purposes?
    • If you use it, who do you have to recognize in your attribution? (If you need help with this, ask a librarian.)
  • Once you determine how you can use the OER, what would you like to do with it?
    • Does only a portion of it apply to your class?
    • Would you possibly want to combine this/these OER with others?
  • As you collect more OER and other resources, save them in a central location.
    • Take note of how you envision using them.
    • Align these resources with the learning objectives and weekly lessons on your syllabus in order to identify gaps.

(Adapted from Evaluation Process, Dupré Library, University of Lousiana at Lafayette)

Now that you have found an Open Educational Resource to use in class, you should go through a quick evaluation to make sure that it will match what you want to do.

Here are suggestions for evaluating the Quality, Appropriateness, and Technical Aspects of the work you have found. You should also add whatever else you think important, as well as keep track of what might need to be improved so you can enhance the work for your own purposes.


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


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


  • 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

(Reused and adapted from Kirkwood Community College Library's guide on open textbooks, developed by Sarah Crissinger, Information Literacy Graduate Assistant. Further adapted from OER Evaluation Checklist, Dupré Library, University of Lousiana at Lafayette.)