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Open Educational Resources

Evaluating OERs

The 5 Rs

OERs are the most useful and most effective when they grant users the permission to:

  • Retain: Do you have the right to make and control copies of the material?
  • Reuse: Do you have the right to reuse the content without any alterations?
  • Revise: Do you have the right to alter or adapt the content for your purposes?
  • Remix: Do you have the right to combine the content with another to create something new?
  • Redistribute: Do you have the right to share copies of the revised content?

These 5 Rs allow instructors and students to use, customize, and build upon the original OER, to keep a copy as long as they want, and to share their adaptations with the world.

Image by BCOER Librarians CC 4.0  Taken From BCcampus

Steps to Consider in Evaluation Process

Here are a few steps to consider in the evaluation process. If this process seems lengthy, think about the process you follow to review textbooks and other materials for your course. You can use a similar or modified evaluation process to that.

  • Does this OER cover the content you'd like your students to learn in this course?
  • How accessible is this content? Will it be accessible for your students or is it too technical? Or, vice versa, is it robust and challenging enough for your students?
  • How can you use the content? Verify the license that the resource is under. Can you remix or revise the OER as long as it isn't for commercial purposes? Who do you have to recognize if you use it? Will you be able to do so? For more help with this, please contact Emily Hayes, Global Campus 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 OER with another OER or resource? Does the library have access to articles or e-Books that could act as supplemental readings?
  • 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 outcomes and weekly lessons on your syllabus in order to identify gaps. 

Note: This is from the Open Educational Resources guide from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries.

Help with evaluating OERs