You may have heard faculty ask questions like these:

  • Are open textbooks up to date?
  • Saving students money is important, but what about student learning?
  • If it's free, is it any good?

Quality is always a concern when choosing materials for your class. Sometimes people worry that because open resources are freely available online, they have not been as rigorously vetted as a textbook with a traditional copyright. The truth is that all educational materials vary in quality and need to be carefully evaluated before being selected in your course, regardless of copyright or licensing status.

There are several ways to ensure that you are using high quality open educational resources.

1. Search out peer reviews of openly licensed materials. A few places to start:

2. Conduct your own review of copyrighted or openly licensed course materials. The Open Textbook Network's Open Textbooks Review Criteria is a useful 10-point rubric that you can use. 

3. Apply for a grant to create or modify course content. 

Further reading: