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The Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) Quality Standards for Open Educational Resources (OER) were created in response to the 2018 University System of Georgia (USG) Survey on Open Educational Resources, a pivotal needs assessment document for planning the future of the Affordable Learning Georgia initiative within the USG.

These criteria also adapt information from the QM Higher Education Specific Review Standards and the BCcampus Self Publishing Guide (CC BY 4.0). In order to maintain a focus on quality within these standards, the openness of the materials (such as the Creative Commons license applied to the materials or whether they reside in the Public Domain) is not included within the quality criteria.

Open Textbook Quality Criteria

Criterion 1: Scope and Sequence

1.1: Textbook contains a comprehensive standard scope and sequence for a particular college course or set of courses.

1.2: Textbook is easily divisible into smaller sections, with text that is not overly self-referential in order to enable modularity as much as possible.

Criterion 2: Content Accuracy

2.1: Textbook contains accurate content without factual errors.

2.2: Content is presented with no or minimal bias or slant, taking into account the context of the particular subject being addressed.

2.3: Content is up-to-date and avoids presenting information that will make the text obsolete quickly, taking into account the particular subject being addressed.

2.4: Content has been reviewed by subject matter experts through a peer review process – preferably, but not restricted to, double-blind peer review.

Criterion 3: Instructional Design

3.1: Textbook contains a variety of instructional materials, including reflective questions, learning activities, and other features which promote learner engagement and active learning.

3.2: The relationship between the use of the textbook and fulfilling particular learning outcomes is clearly explained.

Criterion 4: Text Clarity

4.1: Content is written in accessible and internally-consistent prose for the intended reader.

4.2: Textbook contains a structured, clear, and logical progression of topics.

4.3: Textbook contains no grammatical, spelling, or other typographical errors.

Criterion 5: Visual Clarity and Fidelity

5.1: Textbook does not contain distorted images or charts, and does not contain any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.

5.2: Image resolution is up to the current standard for all viewing devices.

Criterion 6: Accessibility and Inclusive Design

6.1: Textbook provides accessible and structured text and images to meet the needs of diverse learners.

6.2: Textbook reflects diversity and inclusion regarding culture, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion, whenever possible, taking into account the context of the particular subject being addressed.

Criterion 7: Ancillary Materials

7.1: Textbook has high-quality ancillary (supplementary) materials which aid the instructor in the teaching process.

Ancillary Materials Quality Criteria

Criterion 1: Content Relevance

1.1: Ancillary materials contain content which fully addresses the targeted learning outcome(s).

Criterion 2: Content Accuracy

2.1: Ancillary materials contain accurate content without factual errors.

2.2: Content is presented with no or minimal bias or slant, taking into account the context of the particular subject being addressed.

2.3: Content is up-to-date and avoids presenting information that will make the material obsolete quickly, taking into account the particular subject being addressed.

2.4: Content has been reviewed by subject matter experts through a peer review process – preferably, but not restricted to, double-blind peer review.

Criterion 3: Instructional Design

3.1: The overall set of ancillary materials contain a variety of instructional methods and activities which promote learner engagement and active learning.

3.2: The relationship between the use of the materials and fulfilling particular learning outcomes is clearly explained.

Criterion 4: Technical Usability

4.1: Ancillary materials are in standard file formats or markup languages and easily adaptable to other formats.

4.2: [For ancillary materials based on coding and/or software platforms] Ancillary materials are free of technical errors and glitches.

Criterion 5: Clarity and Fidelity

5.1: Ancillary materials do not contain distorted images or charts, and do not contain any other display features that may distract or confuse the student.

5.2: Audio, video, and image quality are up to the current standard for all devices used to access the materials.

Criterion 6: Accessibility and Inclusive Design

6.1: Ancillary materials provide accessible and structured text and images to meet the needs of diverse learners, or provide alternative means of access to multimedia content in formats that meet the needs of diverse learners when applicable.

6.2: Ancillary materials reflect diversity and inclusion regarding culture, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion, whenever possible, taking into account the context of the particular subject being addressed and the format and goals of the materials.