Evaluating OER

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Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Finding OER is the easy part. Determining if the OER will work in your course takes some careful consideration. Lucky for us, there are some fantastic OER evaluation tools that can make this step much easier — from advanced rubrics that are tied to state standards, to simple checklists.

This video provides a short virtual tour showcasing Achieve’s OER Rubrics and Evaluation Tool, currently hosted on OER Commons.



You know your course and teaching approach best. It will be of great benefit for you to find a rubric or checklist that you like, and adapt it to suit your needs. Most of the evaluation tools we share here are openly licensed, so you can do just that.

Consider the following when evaluating OER:

Comprehensiveness. The material covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index or navigation guide.

Accuracy. Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.

Relevance/Longevity. Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the learning asset obsolete within a short period of time. Any text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.

Clarity. Content is written in a clear manner, and adequate context is provided for any jargon/technical terminology used.

Consistency. Content internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Modularity. The content is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The content can easily be reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Organization/Structure/Flow. The topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

Interface. The content is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of visuals, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.

Grammatical Errors. The materials contain no grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance. The materials are not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. They should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

OER Evaluation Rubrics and Tools

Note that some of the evaluation tools shared here are meant for full OER courses, not individual course materials.

Achieve Rubrics
These series of eight rubrics were designed to hep states, districts, teachers, and other users determine the degree of alignment of Open Educational Resources (OER) to college- and career-ready standards and to determine other aspects of quality of OER.

OER Assessment Rubric
This rubric is developed by Sarah Morehouse with help from Mark McBride, Kathleen Stone, and Beth Burns is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

[Summarized] Rubrics for Evaluating Open Education Resources Objects
This 2-page rubric is a synthesis version of the eight (8) separate rubrics for the evaluation of OERs created by ACHIEVE.org. It is meant as a ready reference for quick evaluation of an OER.  (Credit: Created and shared by Rodney Birch of George Fox University.)

OER Evaluation Criteria
From Affordable Learning Georgia a six component checklist for evaluating OER.

Pierce College Open Education Course Rubric
Developed by Pierce College for use by their faculty to evaluate open courses. This POP (Pierce Open Pathway) rubric is used to evaluate an overall course, not individual course materials.

Rubric for Quality of Technology Interactivity
This rubric from Pasadena City College is a remix of the Achieve Rubric set. It simplifies evaluation of the quality of technical interactivity of an OER.


The content of this course is adapted from the following works:


Creative Commons CC BY License ImageUnless otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.