Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. (Hewlett Foundation).
The 5Rs of Openness
Content that can be freely used but without the "5Rs" of openness.
You'll likely find it useful to evaluate OER based on the same standards you use to evaluate other course materials. Here are a few criteria to consider:
Content: Does this OER cover what you'd like your students to learn in the course?
Accessibility: Is the content and reading level at the right level for your students? Is it challenging enough? Is the level of technicality appropriate for your course?
Use: Is the license open? Can you share, reuse, and remix the content freely? For more information on copyright and licensing, check out the Copyright Crash Course.
Quality: Is the OER peer reviewed? Can you read reviews from other instructors who teach courses like yours? Are errors corrected or noted?
Format: Does the material come in a format your students can access easily? Is special software required? Can the material be printed or purchased in print at a low cost?