Adopting, modifying, or creating an open textbook for your course is a big decision, requiring you to evaluate new resources often on your own. When you begin evaluating open textbooks, use the following criteria:
Clarity, Comprehensibility, and Readability
- Is the content, including any instructions, exercises, or supplemental material, clear and comprehensible to students?
- Is the content well-categorized in terms of logic, sequencing, and flow?
- Is the content consistent with its language and key terms?
Content Accuracy and Technical Accuracy
- Is the content accurate based on both your expert knowledge and through external sources?
- Are there any factual, grammatical, or typographical errors?
- Is the interface easy to navigate? Are there broken links or obsolete formats?
Adaptability and Modularity
- Is the resource in a file format which allows for adaptations, modifications, rearrangements, and updates?
- Is the resource easily divided into modules, or sections, which can then be used or rearranged out of their original order?
- Is the content licensed in a way which allows for adaptations and modifications?
- Is the content presented at a reading level appropriate for higher education students?
- How is the content useful for instructors or students?
- Is the content itself appropriate for higher education?
- Is the content 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?
- Do videos have accurate closed-captioning?
- Are students able to access the materials in a quick, non-restrictive manner?
- See our Accessibility page for more details.
- Does the OER contain any supplementary materials, such as homework resources, study guides, tutorials, or assessments?
- Have you reviewed these supplementary resources in the same manner as the original OER?