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Open Educational Resources: Evaluate OER

Evaluating OER

An important step before choosing to adopt or adapt an OER for your class or research is to evaluate the source. OER may vary in quality and fit different needs. Adapted from Abbey Elder's The OER Starter Kitthe following should be considered when evaluating OER:

Clarity, Comprehensibility, and Readability

  • Is the content, including any instructions and exercises, clear and comprehensible to students?
  • Is the content consistent with its language and formatting?
  • Is the content well-organized in terms of sequencing and flow?

Content and Technical Accuracy

  • Is the content accurate based on your expertise?
  • Are there any factual, grammatical, or typographical errors?
  • Is the interface navigable for students?

Adaptability and Modularity

  • Is the resource in a file format which allows for adaptations, modifications, rearrangements, and updates?
  • Is the resource easily divided into modules, or sections, which can be used or rearranged out of their original order?
  • Is the content available under a license which allows for modifications?

Appropriateness and Fit

  • Is the content presented at a reading level appropriate for your students?
  • How does the content align with your course learning objectives?
  • Is the content level appropriate for use in your course?


  • Is the content accessible to students with disabilities through the compatibility of third-party reading applications?
  • If you are using Web resources, does each image have alt text that can be read? Do videos have accurate closed-captioning?
  • Are students able to access the materials in a quick, non-restrictive manner?

A checklist of these considerations can be accessed and printed here: Evaluating OER Checklist by Abbey Elder

Referenced Resource

Further Evaluation

The following documents can be used for an in-depth evaluation of OER: