You want your course materials to be of the upmost quality. If you have any questions about the quality of a resource, or about copyright, please contact a reference librarian.
Here are basic guidelines for evaluating the quality of a resource. You will want to consider:
« Comprehensiveness. The material covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index or navigation guide.
« Accuracy. Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
« Relevance/Longevity. Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the learning asset obsolete within a short period of time. Any text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
« Clarity. Content is written in a clear manner, and adequate context is provided for any jargon/technical terminology used.
« Consistency. Content internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
« Modularity. The content 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 content can easily be reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
« Organization/Structure/Flow. The topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
« Interface. The content is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of visuals, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.
« Grammatical Errors. The materials contain no grammatical errors.
« Cultural Relevance. The materials are not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. They should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
From SUNY OER Services, “Evaluating OER,” https://commons.suny.edu/sunyoercommunitycourse/identifying-finding-adopting-oer/evaluating-oer/, CC-BY.
These rubrics will help you evaluate the quality of a resource - whether you are considering using it in a class or writing a resource yourself.