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OER (Open Educational Resource)

Guide for faculty who would like to use OER materials

Assessing OERs

Open education projects have increasingly incorporated OER assessment into their work to help instructors more readily judge the quality of open educational resources. BCcampus, Open Textbook Library, and MERLOT are notable for including reviews alongside OERs, and for encouraging faculty members to leave their own reviews of materials in their subject areas. The assessment criteria used by these three projects are outlined below.


 an image showing what the review scale is at BCcampus

BCcampus (an open education project in British Columbia) invites faculty reviews of the open textbooks that they publish. Note that, by clicking on "Faculty-reviewed" in the list of results on the BCcampus Open Textbooks site, you can narrows results to only books that have been reviewed.

Criteria for assessment of BCcampus open textbooks include:

  1. Comprehensiveness
  2. Content Accuracy
  3. Relevance/Longevity
  4. Clarity
  5. Consistency
  6. Modularity
  7. Organization/Structure/Flow
  8. Interface
  9. Grammatical Errors
  10. Cultural Relevance

This rubric was adapted from, which is a derivative of the review rubric used by College Open Textbooks. This rubric is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


 overall numeric ratings in stars based on content quality, effectiveness, ease of use.

MERLOT is a repository of open educational resources that adds new resources via a peer review process. The site has organized more than twenty editorial boards to coordinate peer review activities. In addition, you as an instructor can join the MERLOT community and post your own reviews of the materials on the site. MERLOT recommends that each review address the quality of the content, its potential effectiveness as a learning tool, and ease of use.

Open Textbook Library

 Open Textbook Library Financial Accounting book; picture of hand balancing checkbook book has 4 stars and 4 reviwes

Open Textbook Library (OTL) also includes faculty reviews alongside the open textbooks in the library. OTL uses the same review rubric as BCcampus, inviting faculty members to rate textbooks on the basis of comprehensiveness, content accuracy, relevance/longevity, clarity, consistency, modularity, organization/structure/flow, grammatical errors, and cultural relevance. Should you wish to contribute a review of an open textbook in the library, please contact OTL directly.