Unlike libraries, where content is evaluated and curated from a set of items identified through publishers, open education resources can be found everywhere and anywhere and have no set form of evaluation before they are made available to the public. This lack of evaluation for open education resources, makes selecting where to search extremely important.

The following provides you with processes and tools for developing a open education resource research plan, evaluation considerations for resources, and tools to find material.

Developing a Plan for Selecting Open Education Resources

With so many freely available resources online, choosing OER can be overwhelming. Before beginning your search for an open education resource, you need to have a clear plan. This will help you make decisions on what tools to use for searching, the kind of resource you select, and the subject coverage. The following checklist will help you plan your search strategy.

Check-mark-grey.png Audience
  • Who will be using the resources?
  • Is the resource at an appropriate education level for your audience?
Check-mark-grey.png Subject Coverage & Relevance
  • Does the information directly address one or more of the clas objectives?
  • Is there any area within the larger subject that should be excluded?
Check-mark-grey.png Material Type
  • What kind of media will the collection contain (e.g. videos, podcasts, etc.?)
  • What media types will be excluded from the collection?
Check-mark-grey.png Pedagogical
  • Does the resource encourage active learning and class participation?
  • Does the information directly address one or more of the class objectives?
Check-mark-grey.png Accuracy & Production Quality
  • Is the information accurate?
  • Are there major content errors or omissions?
  • Is the resource available in alternative formats (e.g. .doc)?
  • Is the layout and interface easy to navigate?
  • Do the design features enhance or inhibit learning?
  • For audio or video resources, is the sound quality high?
Check-mark-grey.png Interactivity
  • Does the resource encourage active learning and class participation?
  • Are there opportunities for students to test their understanding of the material (e.g. a video with embedded questions)?
Check-mark-grey.png Licensing
  • Does the license allow for educational reuse of materials?
  • Does the license allow modifications or adaptations of the material?