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OER: Open Educational Resources

How to Evaluate OER

As faculty, you assess textbooks against a set of criteria that reflects your long experience and knowledge of student needs. You do the same with Open Textbooks, but there are a few additional considerations.

    * Content
          o Accuracy of material
          o Richness
          o Depth
          o Breadth
          o Timeliness
          o Cultural context
    * Presentation
          o Writing quality and tone
          o Reading level
          o Organization
          o Visual presentation
          o Hierarchy of information
          o Collateral materials

Additional Criteria

    * Accessibility online
          o Are the web pages for the textbook accessible?
    * Production options
          o Is the book available in more than one format? Printed? Bound? PDF?
    * Platform compatibility
          o Is the textbook viewable and usable on both MAC's and PC's?
    * Delivery options
          o Is a bound copy available at a very low price? Will your bookstore be able to carry the printed version?
    * Interactivity
          o If the online version includes interactive software or multi-media files, are they accessible and cross platform?
    * Consistency between online and printed presentation

          o Are the online and printed versions comparable in organization and basic appearance?

          o Will you be able to identify locations in either with minimal confusion for students?

    * Collateral material
          o If there are test banks, interactives, or other enrichment materials, are they in a format you can use?
          o Accessible?
          o Free or very inexpensive?

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