Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources Guide

Evaluating OERs

There are a number of approaches to evaluating OER. Below are a checklist, a flowchart, and a list of criteria to help you determine if an OER fits your instructional needs.


OER Selection Flowchart

OER Selection Flowchart

OER Flowchart "Are you ready to free the textbook"

This flowchart by Oregon Health & Science University Library is licensed under CC BY 4.0. It was adapted from "Are You Ready to Free the Textbook?" by Northwestern Michigan College, also licensed under CC BY 4.0.

OER Evaluation Criteria

OER Evaluation Criteria

Clarity, Comprehensibility & Readability

  • Text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
  • Text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.
  • Content, including any instructions, exercises, or supplemental material, is clear and comprehensible to students.
  • Content is well-categorized in terms of logic, sequencing, and flow.
  • Content is consistent with its language and key terms.

Content Accuracy & Technical Accuracy

  • Content, including diagrams and other supplementary material, is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
  • Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time.
  • The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
  • Content is accurate based on both your expert knowledge and through external sources.
  • There are no factual, grammatical, or typographical errors. 
  • Interface is easy to navigate, and there are no broken links or obsolete formats.

Adaptability & Modularity

  • The resource is in a file format that allows for adaptations, modifications, rearrangements, and updates.
  • The resource is easily divided into modules, or sections, which can then be used or rearranged out of their original order.
  • The content is licensed in a way that allows for adaptations and modifications.


  • Content is presented at a reading level appropriate for higher education students.
  • Content is useful for instructors or students.
  • The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.


  • Content is accessible to students with disabilities through the compatibility of third-party reading applications.
  • If you are using Web resources, does each image have alternate text that can be read?
  • Videos have accurate closed-captioning.
  • Students are able to access the materials in a quick, non-restrictive manner.

Supplementary Resources

  • The OER contain supplementary materials such as homework resources, study guides, tutorials or assessments.
  • Have you reviewed these materials in the same manner as the original OER?


This OER Evaluation Criteria is by Regina Gong. It is adapted from Affordable Learning Georgia Selecting Textbooks Criteria, and BC Campus, Open Textbook Review Criteria, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.