Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for increasing equity and access to high-quality K–12 education. Many state education agencies now have offices devoted to identifying and using OER and other digital resources in their states.
Below, learn more about the Achieve OER Rubrics and Evaluation Tool, training materials on the rubrics and the Achieve OER Institute.
- OER Rubrics
- OER Rubrics Training Materials
- OER Communications Resources
- Achieve OER Institute
- OER State Policy Recommendations
To help states, districts, teachers, and other users determine the degree of alignment of OER to the Common Core State Standards, and to determine aspects of quality of OER, Achieve has developed eight rubrics in collaboration with leaders from the OER community (download link for rubrics below). To allow users to apply these rubrics and evaluate the quality of instructional resources, Achieve partnered with OER Commons to develop an online evaluation tool. OER Commons, an online repository for open education resources, is now hosting the tool and its resulting evaluation data. Every resource available on OER Commons contains an "Evaluate Resource" button that will direct users to the evaluation tool. The coding for the tool is freely available online here. Resources rated on OER Commons will create a pool of metadata, and this metadata will be shared through the Learning Registry with other interested repositories.
Rubric I. Degree of Alignment to Standards
Rubric II. Quality of Explanation of the Subject Matter
Rubric III. Utility of Materials Designed to Support Teaching
Rubric IV. Quality of Assessment
Rubric V. Quality of Technological Interactivity
Rubric VI. Quality of Instructional Tasks and Practice Exercises
Rubric VII. Opportunities for Deeper Learning
Rubric VIII. Assurance of Accessibility
Achieve has collaborated with educators, state leaders and other organizations to produce two systems for appraising the quality of instructional materials, the Open Educational Resource (OER) Rubrics and the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubrics. This guide has been developed to help educators who are interested in determining the quality of instructional materials — starting with the determination of which rubric(s) is most appropriate to use.
OER Evaluation Rubrics by Achieve, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available; contact Achieve.
Below is a set of materials developed to help educators use and learn more about the Achieve OER Rubrics and Evaluation Tool. This includes a handbook, videos and set of presentation slides that give instructions on how to apply the rubrics and use the online tool, as well as examples of what different ratings mean under each rubric. The information included in in the handbook, videos and slides is meant to mirror one another, with specific examples included in the handbook and slides. Multiple ways to read and share this information gives educators the opportunity to use the resource(s) that are most useful for them.
Click the links below to view videos and download presentation slides that explain how to apply the rubrics and use the OER Evaluation tool.
Virtual Tour of the OER Rubrics and Evaluation Tool
In State Support for Open Educational Resources: Key Findings from Achieve's OER Institute, one of the key challenges identified for the use of OER in classrooms at scale is a lack of knowledge and awareness about OER among educators. To assist states and districts in communicating about OER, Achieve developed the following resources with feedback from OER Institute states. This suite of materials includes sample key messages about OER, sample presentation slides and a sample survey to gauge knowledge and awareness about OER. Each of these resources are intended to be modified by state and district leaders in order to fit local contexts. All resources are licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Policy Brief: State Support for Open Educational Resources: Key Findings from Achieve's OER Institute
Since 2012, seven states in Achieve’s American Diploma Project (ADP) Network—California, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin—have agreed to work together in Achieve’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Institute. The goal of OER Institute is to bring these states together to discuss issues and policy barriers surrounding using OER in college- and career-ready standards implementation. In addition to describing this initiative and providing appendices that detail each of the seven OER Institute state’s efforts, this brief includes three potential areas for cross-state collaboration to support the use of OER:
- Establishing commonalities in defining quality
- Sharing quality, standards-aligned resources
- Sharing metadata about quality resources
The brief also describes four key findings to date from the OER Institute:
- States face a number of common challenges and barriers to implementation, including a lack of knowledge about OER and uncertainty about the quality of resources available online.
- Experts from multiple sectors, including standards, curriculum and technology, must work together to use OER successfully in CCSS implementation.
- States must develop a common understanding of processes for measuring quality and vetting resources.
- States must assess their technology and capacity needs to implement technology-based innovations.
Achieve will be continuing this work through providing virtual and in-person convenings for OER Institute states, providing state-specific assistance to implement plans related to OER and hosting OER materials review sessions.
Click here to access the full policy brief.
In the short time since publishing this policy brief, states have made significant progress in advancing the use of OER in classrooms. The field of OER is fast changing and focused on innovation, and Achieve thought it appropriate to compile an additional volume of state profiles to share more broadly the OER-focused efforts being made across some of the OER Institute states.
After working with a group of states on issues related to OER for more than two years through the OER Institute, Achieve has developed the following recommendations for states to help share key strategies from states that have begun using OER as part of the college- and career-ready implementation plans to continue advancement of OER in these states as well as to provide helpful information and guidance for states that are interested but have not yet begun an organized effort to use OER in college- and career-ready standards implementation.
- States and districts should use OER as part of their strategies to support the implementation of college- and career-ready standards. Furthermore, when public funds are used, the instructional materials created should be openly licensed.
- States and districts should ensure that all instructional materials being used, including OER, are high quality and aligned to college- and career-ready standards.
- States should develop strategies for using OER to support college- and career-ready standards implementation. These strategies should include goals and relevant timelines as well as an individual or team of individuals to lead these efforts.
- States and districts should use specific criteria and review processes to measure alignment to the college- and career-ready standards to ensure that OER being used meet the level of quality needed to support teaching to those standards.
- States and districts should use OER to leverage common standards as an opportunity for collaboration in the development, refinement and continuous improvement of OER instructional materials.
- States and districts should include OER in professional learning activities. This professional learning can increase knowledge and awareness of OER and their benefits and bolster the reputation of OER among educators, administrators and other stakeholders as materials that can be of high quality.