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Open Educational Resources (OER) Information: Adopt and Evaluate OER

How do I Adopt an Open Educational Resource?

Provide your students an alternative to paid course materials by following these steps:

  1. Find the right OER for your subject. Check out the resources on the Finding OER page. Ask a librarian if you need additional suggestions for locations to search. If no OER are available, you may also request that the library check to see whether we can purchase texts for your course as an eBook accessible to all.
  2. Search for the appropriate textbooks on these various websites for your course.
  3. Review and evaluate the textbooks based on the content and whether it suits your teaching style and your students.  See the box that outlines evaluation criteria. To record your evaluation, you can also print and download this adoption worksheet from the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources. 
  4. Decide if you want to use the textbook as is, edit, or modify the contents. One of the benefits of open textbooks is flexibility to customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire. If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the licensing allows that. Different repositories will have different options for editing and publishing revised copies.
  5. Select the best format to distribute to your class such as online, or downloadable PDF and then distribute.

Evaluation Rubrics

Open Textbook Efficacy

Reviewing and Evaluating Open Textbooks

Suggested criteria for reviewing Open Educational Resources


  • The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.

Content Accuracy

  • Content 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.


  • The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.


  • The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.


  • The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided).
  • The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.


  • The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.


  • The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.

Grammatical Errors

  • The text contains no grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance

  • 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.

This rubric was developed by BCcampus. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license