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Open Educational Resources (OER): Evaluate

Using OER: Benefits and challenges


Benefits Challenges
  • Expanded access to knowledge
  • More affordable education
  • Elimination of unnecessary duplication of effort
  • Free sharing
  • Easy distribution 
  • Flexible customization
  • Opportunities for collaboration, creativity, and innovation        
  • Greater diversity of teaching and learning environments
  • Facilitation of independent, self-directed study
  • Uneven quality
  • Localization challenges
  • Sustainability concerns
  • Irregular updating
  • Copyright clearance barriers
  • May be costly to produce
  • Accessibility issues
  • Discovery problems
  • Limited OER in some subject areas                          
  • Limited language options


Traditional evaluation criteria

Content quality

  • Content is accurate
  • Pedagogical methods are sound
  • Reputation of author/ institution is transparent 
  • Peer review available or used
  • Sources are identified and cited 

Pedagogical appropriateness

  • Alignment with a learning outcome or course objective
  • Appropriate reading/ domain level for your students

(reused and adapted from Sarah Crissinger, CC BY NC SA)

Additional evaluation criteria

Licensing status

  • Clear licensing declaration 
  • Allows for reuse, re-purposing or refinement

Technical quality

  • High technical quality (clear visuals, high production value)
  • Platform compatibility (viewable and usable on both MAC's and PC's)
  • Platform currency
  • Accessible to people with disabilities
  • Accessible to people using older computers 

OER evaluation rubrics and checklists