Similar to commercial educational materials, the quality of OER can vary and requires some time investment to evaluate the resource. Several OER providers offer assistance with evaluation through peer-review guidelines and user reviews.
You can learn more about the quality and impact of OER through freely available research articles.
Commercial textbooks can include errors, inaccuracies, or biases and can take years for un updated edition to be released, if ever; whereas, any errors or problems found in an OER can be immediately fixed. Below is an example of a particularly problematic commercial nursing textbook that reinforced stereotypes of racial, ethnic and religious groups.
OERs can be evaluated using similar standards and criteria used for assessing traditional commercial textbooks. Affordable Learning Georgia has a useful guide for evaluating open educational resources. Criteria they recommend considering when beginning to assess OER include:
Clarity, Comprehensibility, and Readability
Content Accuracy and Technical Accuracy
Adaptability and Modularity
Consider These Additional Questions
There are a variety of evaluation rubrics available for you to use to assist with assessing the quality and value of OER for your classroom.