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Open Educational Resources (OER): Steps to adopting an OER

Using an open textbook for your class, informed by the Adoption Guide - 2nd Ed BC Campus

Find, review, use as or modify, distribute

Find the right textbook

For more tips on finding the right textbook, check out this video from Open Textbook Library:

Review and evaluate

See if it matches your criteria based on content, presentation, online accessibility, production options, platform compatibility, delivery options, interactivity, consistency between online and printed versions, and available supplementary material (test banks, PowerPoints, etc.).

Consider the following:

  • Authority
  • Audience
  • Access & Diversity
  • User-friendliness
  • Subject Coverage
  • Search Functionality & Browsing
  • Media Type
  • Licensing & Permissions

These Open Education Resource Rubric can guide you further:

Rcampus Evaluating OER Rubric


BCcampus open textbooks review rubric [Word file]

Decide if you want to use as is or modify

One of the benefits of open textbooks is flexibility to modify and 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 Creative Commons licence allows for that (every CC licence except the non-derivative licence allows for modifications).

You can find further advice on how to customize an open textbook in this guide by Lauri M. Aesoph, available from BC Campus Open Education:

You can also check out this video:

Distribute to your students

  • When using a textbook, provide the link to the textbook to your students. They can select which file type they would like to download.
  •  Alternatively, download copies of the book and put them on another site. Some examples of where book files can be added are:
    • Your institutional LMS (learning management system). Load the book files into your Moodle and make the books available to your students via the LMS.
    • Use an online file-sharing service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Upload copies of the book files to Dropbox or Google Drive and send your students the link.
    • If you have a faculty website, put copies of the files on that website and send students to your website to download your copy of the textbook.