Find, Evaluate and Adopt


Finding the right open educational resource can be challenging. The first step is to define what type of material you are looking for (e.g. ebooks, articles, videos) and what content you want your OER to deliver.

The next step is to cast a wide net by searching many different sites using a variety of keywords. We maintain a curated list of OER search sites to help you in this process.



The next step in the OER adoption process is to evaluate material you are considering for use. The following simple criteria can be used as a guideline.


  • Has the material been peer reviewed and/or rated by users?
  • Does the OER come from a reputable source?


  • Is the content accurate?
  • Does the resource align with my course objectives or learning outcomes?
  • Is the reading level appropriate for my students?


  • Is the resource free of dead links and does it load relatively quickly?
  • Is there a clear licensing declaration (Creative Commons or other)?
  • Is the resource accessible to people with disabilities? (DPRC offers an Accessible Media Quick Converter to help you make sure your course materials is accessible.)

This excerpt adapted from “OER Finding and Adopting Guide for Instructors: Worksheet” by Kate Hess is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.



Adopt OER in Your Course
Once you’ve chosen your OER, you need to find a way to disseminate those resources to your students. At SF State, most often that means adding the OER to your iLearn course. If it’s a file, you can just drag & drop it into your course.  Academic Technology's Support Documents offer instructions on mutiple way to share resources on iLearn including how to add a file or URL. 

Share your success!
Once you adopt OER in your course, let us know! Faculty who reduce the cost of their course by 30% or more using OER will receive a letter and certificate for their RTP file. Email to share your success.

A note on copyright: The idea behind open educational resources is that they are free and open for other educators to use, but always be sure to check materials for licensing or, if you can’t find the licensing, contact the producer of the material. The Creative Commons website offers more information on types of licenses and what they mean.


Still have questions or looking for support in finding, evaluating and adopting OER? Email