How to account for the quality of OER?

The quality criteria presented in the form of a checklist are intended as assistance to authors and users of open educational resources and the organisations behind them. The quality criteria will:

  • help authors create resources of a higher quality from the perspective of openness;
  • help users in quality assessment as they are reviewing open educational resources;
  • give the background organisations a tool they can use for facilitating the preparation and evaluation of open educational resources as part of other guidelines and instructions provided by the organisation.

The guidelines define five different quality criteria for open educational resources and more detailed quality dimensions for each of them. The criteria are:

  • Content. The content of high-quality open educational resources is reliable.
  • Learning and teaching methods. High-quality open educational resources enable the use of diverse ways to learn and teach.
  • Usability and accessibility. High-quality open educational resources are as easy to use as possible for everyone and in any situation.
  • Findability and sharing. High-quality open educational resources are easy to find, and the users know under which terms and conditions they can share them.
  • Lifecycle and adaptability. High-quality open educational resources are maintained and updated on a regular basis. In addition, other open resources and co-development practices are used in the production of the materials.

Under each criterion, the quality dimensions have been arranged according to different levels – a check in the box indicates that the element applies to open educational resources of this level. The first-level quality dimensions describe basic characteristics that all open educational resources should have. The second-level quality dimensions describe more advanced open educational resources in terms of quality and the third-level quality dimensions apply to highly advanced open educational resources.

The guidelines are based on the international TIPS Quality Assurance Framework for open educational resources. The guidelines focus on quality dimensions of particular importance for openness. General instructions on the quality of online implementations and related materials can be found, for example, in eAMK Quality criteria for online implementations.

Dimensions of the content criterion

Quality dimensions

Basic level

Advanced level

Highly advanced level

Educational resources are based on research-based knowledge and meet the sector-specific quality criteria.

x

x

x

Copyrights have been taken into account when preparing the educational resources.

x

x

x

The sources used have been mentioned in the educational resources.

x

x

x

The educational resources provide tips and links to supplementing material.

 

x

x

For the most part, the sources of the educational resources are openly available.

   

x

The educational resources have been peer-reviewed.

   

x

Dimensions of the learning and teaching methods criterion

Quality dimensions

Basic level

Advanced level

Highly advanced level

The educational resources describe their learning objectives.

x

x

x

The educational resources and their components can be used in a variety of teaching situations and educational resources.

x

x

x

The educational resources suggest what kind of methods can be used for assessing learning.  

x

x

The educational resources are suited for a diversity of learners and different learning situations.

 

x

x

The educational resources contain participatory content.

 

x

x

Dimensions of the usability and accessibility criterion

Quality dimensions

Basic level

Advanced level

Highly advanced level

The educational resources are accessible.

x

x

x

The educational resources contain necessary instructions for using them.

x

x

x

The educational resources have been adapted to meet the needs of the target group.

x

x

x

The educational resources are printable and available offline.

 

x

x

The educational resources can be adapted to different use situations.

 

x

x

The educational resources are suited for mobile use.

   

x

The technical limitations of the educational resources have been specified.

   

x

Dimensions of the findability and sharing criterion

Quality dimensions

Basic level

Advanced level

Highly advanced level

The educational resources have been published on an open platform that enables findability of the educational resources.

x

x

x

The educational resources describe how they can be linked to existing study modules or curricula.

x

x

x

The educational resources and their metadata bear the marking of an open access licence.

x

x

x

The educational resources are described as comprehensively as possible in the national Library of Open Educational Resources.

 

x

x

The educational resources describe for what kind of use situations they were originally prepared.

 

x

x

Open file formats have been favoured in the sharing of the educational resources, enabling their further use.

 

x

x

The educational resources contain information on potential affiliations and author identifiers.

   

x

Open-source software was used for preparing the educational resources.

   

x

Dimensions of the lifecycle and adaptibility criterion

Quality dimensions

Basic level

Advanced level

Highly advanced level

The authors of the contents used in the educational resources are clearly indicated and separated from each other.

x

x

x

The educational resources indicate the update cycle or a time when the content is no longer up to date or should be checked.

 

x

x

Open materials were used when preparing the educational resources.

 

x

x

The educational resources describe how to give feedback on them and suggest improvements to them.

 

x

x

The use of educational resources and feedback received are monitored.

   

x

The files needed for editing the educational resources have been shared alongside the resources (e.g., caption files of videos for translation purposes).

   

x