Social Justice Focused OER Evaluation Rubric

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Some- times






The content, including any instructions, exercises, or supplemental material, is clear and comprehensible (easy to understand).








Explains technical language in understandable terms and uses simple, comprehensible language for the intended audience (Ex. higher education students)








The content is accurate and current based on both expert knowledge and thorough evidence from external sources.








The research examples, overall content, and figures are relevant and stimulate understanding and greater use of the resource.








The resource connects important associated concepts within the subject matter, creates explicit and implicit interdisciplinary connections, and/or applies discrete knowledge and skills to real-world situations applicable to many different contexts.








The resource successfully reflects the learning objectives, goals, and or purpose and provides substantial efficacy for teaching the subject matter.








The resource offers a range of cognitive demands that are appropriate and supportive of the material.








Structure, Organization, & Technical

The resource is easily divided into modules, or sections, which can then be used or rearranged out of their original order.








The resource/interface is easy to navigate and does not include broken links or obsolete formats.








The object is well-designed and appears to function flawlessly on the intended platform.








The format of the file and accommodations for them so that they are readily accessible for everyone, regardless of type of device.








The visual design (text, color, layout) of the content is appealing, consistent, and black & white printer friendly throughout the resource.








Images & Interactive Features

The figures, tables, and photographs are well placed in relation to the text and are easy to understand.








The figures, tables, and other features are relevant, stimulate interest, and foster a  greater understanding of the text.








The resource balances text with meaningful images and/or interactive features that add to the meaning of the text.  The resource is not overwhelming with text.








Images are carefully selected for diversity and avoid stereotyping roles to particular races and genders.








Captions are included for all images, including alt-text for digital resources).








Social Justice & Equity

Recognizes key contributors from a variety of backgrounds and cites papers and data from diverse authors, researchers, and organizations.

  • Sometimes only ⅓ or ⅔ of members of a team are given credit for their work. Fact check who the contributors of the discovery are and what sources are referenced rather than sticking to what is listed.








Discusses the author(s) context(s) and positionality(ies), recognizing  the dominant perspectives in the resources and acknowledging the limitations of these perspectives.








Includes diverse contexts and people, groups, populations, categories, conditions, and disabilities use the appropriate verbiage and do not contain any derogatory, colloquial, inappropriate, or otherwise incorrect language. Stereotypes are avoided.








Names represent various countries of origin, ethnicities, genders, and races and are portrayed properly.  Wherever possible, use the names, pronouns, and identities preferred by the subjects of the text.








Real-world examples and images
 diverse perspectives and consider the intersectionality and context of the depiction (e.g. use preferences of the subject, avoid perpetuating a stereotype, are all populations equally “active” in the material, do the context or setting images/examples indicate anything negative, etc.).








Fictitious examples and stock images have been intentionally selected to represent diverse perspectives and avoid stereotyping roles to particular races and genders as related to the content of the resource.








Represents issues relevant to diverse populations, and ensures that impacts on diverse populations are not avoided or underestimated. Examples include social problems, health issues, political issues, business practices, economic conditions, and so on.








Considers alternate points of view beyond the contributor(s) or popular academic point(s) of view.  If a topic is inherently divisive or sensitive, views are balanced with alternative perspectives.









The object is compliant with accessibility legislation and standards and includes functionality features to support interactive learning for all users.








The text is inclusive for a diverse audience and/or realistically states the audience/context intended for the resource.  For example, states where examples were sourced from with the intention to be used by people from those communities.)








The resource is a file format that allows for adaptations, modifications, rearrangements, and updates.








The resource includes a clear Creative Commons licensing statement that promotes use of the material through the 5R’s.








Images include a written caption (and/or alt text) describing important information from the image.








​​Colors in the resource are limited to no more than three colors used consistently across the resource. Colors are not used to convey meaning, and they are used with a clear contrast to the background color.








Supplemental Materials (If available)

Assessments are available within the resource or as supplemental material.  The quality of its assessments is high because they assess all of the content and performance expectations intended with a thorough explanation.








If it includes activities, it should take into account the medium in which it can be played and explain why certain mediums are better than others (in person, alone, in a group). Honestly, whatever suits the students’ needs and learning style.









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Evaluating OER for Social Justice Copyright © 2022 by Ang Lama; Astride Toh; and Jennifer Van Allen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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