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Open Educational Resources: Adopting and Evaluating OERs

A guide to textbooks, course materials and multimedia which are free or or low cost for educational use. These resources were created with the intention of being widely used and are legal to use in courses with proper citation.

How to Adopt Open Educational Resources

Provide your students an alternative to expensive textbooks by following these steps:

  1. Find the right OER for your subject by going to the Find Open Textbooks or  OER by Subject tab in this Guide. Or Ask a Librarian.
  2. Search for the appropriate textbooks for your course.
  3. Review and evaluate the textbooks based on the content and whether it suits your teaching style and your students.  See the box that outlines evaluation criteria. You can also print and download this adoption worksheet to record your evaluation. 
  4. Decide if you want to use the textbook as is, edit, or modify the contents. One of the benefits of open textbooks is flexibility to customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire. If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the licensing allows that. Different repositories will have different options for editing and publishing revised copies.
  5. Distribute to your students by uploading into Blackboard. You can select the best format to distribute to your class such as online, or downloadable PDF. 

Below are some resources for adapting, creating, and sharing your own OER:

*note: this was reused and adapted from Kirkwood Community College Library's guide on open textbooks

Open Textbook Adoption Worksheet

OER Evaluation Rubrics, Checklist and Tools

Resources for Faculty

Resources for Communicating with Administrators:


Content on this page can be attributed to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lansing Community College Library.