The quality of open textbooks and other OER depends on the specific resource, as OER are not a singular resource. Like publisher textbooks, the depth and quality of the openly-licensed content can vary.
In general, OER are considered high-quality resources. A study from 2014 found that most faculty using OER consider open resources to be equivalent to, or even better than, products produced by traditional publishers (Babson Survey Research Group
Additionally, OER are generally updated more frequently than traditionally published resources. Since openly-licensed resources can be adapted and redistributed, they do not rely on a single creator to continually update the resource. For example, OpenStax textbooks
are high quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are frequently updated and revised.
When selecting resources for your course:
- Use your course learning outcomes to guide your OER search; ask yourself “what resources will help my students achieve the outcomes?”
- Look for openly licensed assessments to save time.