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Guide: OER Selection

Starting points for searching and selecting high-quality OER

Overview

There are a variety of OER options to choose from depending on your needs. Once you have determined what you are looking for, consider the following starting points for your search.

  • Full-Course OER: If you would like to adopt a full-course OER that can be a whole substitute for a previous textbook, you can consider curricular models that have been vetted and rated as high-quality by EdReports. Some examples include: Illustrative Mathematics, EL Education, Odell, or UnboundEd (EngageNY).
    • In Action: Full-Course - New York City Academy for Discovery, P.S. 306Q, is a PK-5 public elementary school located in Woodhaven, Queens, NY. Its school leadership recognized the need for a more coherent, standards-based curriculum in English Language Arts after the state testing scores had dropped consistently over several years. The school investigated EL Education after several other nearby schools had adopted it and decided to implement it, starting in the 2017-18 academic year with grades 3-5. As of the 2018-19 school year, this curriculum is in use across the school, and school leaders received a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation Technology and Learning Fund for professional development support and coaching directly from EL Education. The school is building in personalization via EL’s Skills Block, which provides continual assessments and data to meet students where they are. EL Education K-5 Language Arts received the highest score to date from EdReports.
  • Units or Lessons: If you would like to supplement using OER or curate OER curriculum using vetted collections of content, there are a number of platforms you can turn to that can help you build units or lessons. These include:
    • In Action: Units or Lessons - At Grossmont Union High School District in California, school leaders wanted to curate new materials aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards for high school courses. They turned to CK-12 flex books as the standards-aligned quality backbone educators could build from to meet the needs of their students. You can see an example of a biology course they curated on their website.
  • OER Repositories: If you would like to search for resources from marketplaces of content, many states have pulled together libraries for their educators and leaders.
    • In Action: Repositories - An example of a robust repository for OER can be found at #GoOpen Michigan. It offers a library of OER and a network of Michigan educators who are dedicated to using high-quality OER.