Open Educational Resources

How to evaluate Open Educational Resources

The following criteria is commonly used to evaluate and review open textbooks and OERs:

  • Comprehensiveness: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
  • Content Accuracy: Content, including diagrams and other supplementary material, is accurate, error-free, and unbiased.
  • Relevance/Longevity: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will 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.
  • Clarity: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon or technical terminology used.
  • Consistency: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Note: Some textbooks are collaborative efforts among multiple educators, but may be required to streamline into one ‘voice’ if not written as standalone chapters.
  • Modularity: 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 have the potential, when adapted, to be easily reorganized and realigned.
  • Organization/Structure/Flow: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
  • Interface: 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.
  • Audience: Consider for what level this text would be appropriate (i.e., First Year, Second Year, etc.).
  • Other: Include other comments you would like to make about the book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian/Ontario context or specific updates you think need to be made.

This rubric is licensed under a CC BY 3.0 license. It is a derivative of the Peer Review criteria used by, which is a derivative of the College Open Textbooks rubric, available at


Additional OER evaluation rubrics:

OER Quick Links

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