Evaluating the Quality of OERs
By Sarah Linden
Manager, Learning Technologies
Open Educational Resources (OER) provide a wealth of materials that further develop and enrich an educator’s storehouse of instructional resources. And at no cost, who wouldn’t be interested in these resources? But with the increasing number of OERs created by and made available through a variety of world-wide sources, how can we ensure their quality and effectiveness?
Thanks to a partnership between Achieve and the OER Commons (an online repository linking to over 39,000 OERs), we are one step closer to raising the bar when it comes to ensuring the quality of free educational resources. The OER Commons offers users with a virtual tool to evaluate an OER based on a set of eight rubrics created by Achieve and leaders in the OER community. These rubrics contain evaluation criteria that measure the OERs alignment with Common Core State Standards. Users simply click the “Evaluate Resource” button next to the OER on the OER Commons and score the resource on a five-point rating scale that measures how well the resource aligns with the rubrics, i.e., how well the resource incorporates quality content, effective instruction, and Common Core State Standards. You can download the eight rubrics to keep on file and even watch short training videos that review each rubric and discuss how to apply them while evaluating OERs.