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OER Toolkit

Steps to Peer Review of OER

The credibility of information rests on the integrity of the resources used to support teaching and learning. Before you include any resource, carefully evaluate it to consider if it is appropriate for Western Sydney University.

Library and Learning Futures have collaborated to provide the following registration forms for academics to use when considering resources for use in the classroom.

Getting Started

Step 1: Search The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) to see if you are duplicating content that is already available. The MOM conducts real-time federated search across 21 different platforms. You can also check the individual OER listed in the OER (Open Educational Resources) guide.

Step 2: Be inspired by others who have completed the process by accessing the Western peer review case study exemplars on the Peer Review Case Studies page.

Step 3: Pair up with a buddy and engage in reciprocal peer observation and review of online teaching. Register with Learning Futures using the Peer Review of Teaching Registration Form. If you don't have a buddy, complete this online Peer Review of Open Educational Resources (OER) form to request Learning Futures help you find one.

Step 4: Download a copy of the Collegial Peer Review of Online Teaching Practice Template (DOCX, 37.5 KB) to help facilitate your collegial peer review experience.

Step 5: To promote this initiative please consider submitting your completed Template to the Peer Review Template Submission Portal to have your case study considered as part of this process.

Step 6: Join the Collegial Peer Review Community of Practice on Yammer.

Step 7: When you have completed your OER, please download, complete, and submit to the Library this OER Library Deposit form if you wish to add your OER to the Library Collection.

Peer Review with a Buddy is supported by 21C. For more information visit the Peer Review with a Buddy page.

Conducting a Peer Review

In academia, quality control is often referred to as Peer Review. Sometimes OERs are vetted through a formal peer review process that is very similar to what is used on formally published textbooks and scholarly journals; other times the process is self-selecting and informal. Some OERs are not vetted at all, and the quality control will dependant for hosting via the Library or you can use independently within vUWS

In this context, OER repositories and lists generally have features like:

  • Hit counts (a popularity vote)
  • Comments (more qualitative information)
  • Ratings

An increasing number of reputable OER repositories and lists have  an actual peer review system as well. The peer reviewers are given training and assigned content to review based on their areas of expertise.  

Our philosophy is that the educator who is using the content is responsible for evaluating the content for their curriculum needs which will ensure:

  • Subject matter, for accuracy, objectivity, completeness.
  • Style (Branding) and presentation, to make sure that it is appropriate for your learners' level, learning style and modality, etc.
  • Pedagogy, to make sure it fits well with the kinds of assignments and assessments you want to create.
  • Technical aspects, to make sure that you and your learners will be able to use it as this will ensure operability

Note: This includes accessibility for both staff and students.

Please visit the Peer Review with a Buddy website for more information about the peer review process at Western Sydney University.

Inviting Critique

There are two ways to evaluate the OER you have created:

  1. Use the Comprehensive OER Evaluation Rubric. Ask peers to review the resource using the evaluation rubric. OER development is an iterative process, so try to revisit your OER on a regular update cycle.
  2. Refer to your Peer Review of Open Educational Resources (OER) form. This is an in-house review that uses WSU academics and researchers to provide a Collegial Peer Review vie the Community of Practice.

Evaluating OER

Here are a few steps you might take in the evaluation process. If this process seems lengthy, think about the process you follow to review textbooks and other materials for your course. You can use a similar or modified evaluation process.

  1. That the content under consideration covers the subject area appropriately
  2. That the content of the OER is accurate and free of major errors and spelling mistakes
  3. That the license of the content can be used or altered for the course's needs
  4. That the OER is clearly written and appropriate for the students' level of understanding
  5. That the accessibility of the content is appropriate for all students

We recommend the use of the following Learning Futures form for Peer Review of OER:

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