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W. Frank Steely Library

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Steely Library's guide to OERs at NKU, where you can find information on locating OER resources, grant opportunities, and more.

Guide for Evaluating OER

Before adopting an Open Educational Resource, you can decide if it meets your quality standards and the needs of you and your students. If you already have an evaluation method for potential course materials, it should work for OER, too. This page offers some more suggestions to help with the evaluation process.


  • Is the resource in the public domain or does the license allow for reuse, modification, or adaptation? OER are typically assigned one of the following Creative Commons licenses: CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC, or CC-BY-NC-SA.


  • Does the information directly address one or more of the class objectives?

Production Quality

  • Is the information clear and understandable?
  • Is the layout and interface easy to navigate?
  • Do the design features enhance learning?


  • Does the text pass a basic accessibility checklist? For example: 
    • High contrast between text and background
    • Use of text styles instead of, or in addition to, color to denote emphasis or change in meaning
    • HTML heading and list styles are used to organize content
  • For audio or video resources, is there a transcript or subtitles? 
  • Is alternative text provided for images? 
  • Is the resource available in alternative formats for download like .docx?


  • Does the resource encourage active learning and class participation? 
  • Are there opportunities for students to test their understanding embedded within the material?

Moving from Adoption to Adaptation

When an evaluated resource meets your licensing and relevance standards but lacks aspects of production quality, accessibility, or interactivity, you can change the OER to meet your standards. OER are licensed to be remixed so content can be edited, reordered, combined, or added to. See the BC Campus OpenEd Adaptation Guide to learn more about remixing, adapting, or localizing adopted OER.