Quality assurance of open educational resources

Are you working on open educational resources? Make sure that the learning materials are good quality and that they meet the right criteria. Creating a quality model can help in assessing learning materials. This roadmap will guide you through the different steps to create, implement and maintain a quality model for open educational resources.

Hard werkende studenten in bibliotheek

Step 6. Publicise, organise and evaluate the quality model

At this point, you have a version of the quality model that is endorsed by the target group. You can publish this version. Watch out for the following things:

  • Think carefully about where you will store and distribute the model. How can you ensure that educators know where to find the model? How do you organise version control? Professional communities, for example, often have a community platform where you could locate the model. Or use an internal portal at the institution. If in doubt, contact the library or the IT Services. There may be internal guidelines on storage and distribution.
  • There needs to be wide-ranging communication about the quality model. Think about how best to draw attention to the quality model. Is there a communications department that could help you?
  • Organize workshops for educators about how to apply the quality model.
  • Time needs to be made available for support staff who will play a role in applying the quality model. These might be, for example, library employees and educators' support staff. Make sure time is organised for them. For professional communities it is sometimes difficult. At some institutions you need to define a project and have it approved if, for example, you need ICT support. As a professional community, think about proposals to compensate educators when applying for funding.
  • Make sure you have a clear process through which educators can provide feedback on (using) the model. Think about feedback on the same points as in step 4:
    • Have you forgotten any criteria?
    • Have any criteria been made too strict or too mild?
    • Are the criteria easy to understand?
    • Can the criteria by tested effectively and efficiently?
    • Are the criteria still up to date?
  • Set up a process with which the collected feedback can be processed.
  • Make sure that the feedback is evaluated at regular intervals, and that processing it leads to a new version of the quality model. One update per year is usually enough.
  • Define someone as the "owner" of the quality model. This person tracks and monitors the use of the model and organises the annual evaluation and update. What if the owner leaves the community or the institution that is applying the model? Make sure the role is transferred to someone else. Also think about how the professional association or community can take responsibility for making this happen.
  • Document the process, so that others can also adopt your approach or the framework of your quality model.

Add a quality mark

A quality model helps to win educators' trust in the quality of the shared learning material. Not every visitor to a website with your open educational resources will even realise that a quality model is being applied. In repositories you can find learning material from very many different source collections, some of which do and some of which do not use a quality model.

You might want to consider attaching a quality mark to the learning materials that comply with your quality model. This makes it clear to a visitor that you are using a quality model. By, for example, clicking on the quality mark, a visitor can find out more about the criteria with which the learning material complies.

A quality mark is a "nice to have" not a requirement. Not all platforms, by any means, offer the option of adding a quality mark. In the Netherlands, Wikiwijs uses this option. In 2019, SURF is organising a pilot with a quality mark application on its SURFsharekit platform.

In an ideal situation, lecturers would determine which resource from a colleague deserves a quality mark. Naturally, reuse by another institution is also a form of high praise.
Danny Plass