Assessing OER: Spotlight on C.R.A.A.P

Not all Open Education Resources (OER) are created equal. Assessment is still key to your decision to adopt an OER, just as it is with publisher or Internet content.

There are several rubrics and checklists to assist your assessment of resources, OER or otherwise. The ACHIEVE OER Rubrics that were developed in support of the l Common Core curriculum, is a comprehensive example. Its eight separate rubrics can be combined to create a thorough assessment of any OER, or you can take elements from select rubrics to create your own assessment tool, capturing the criteria most important for your use.

One widely used way to assess online resources is the C.R.A.A.P. test, which stands for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, purpose. First developed by librarians at California State University—Chico, institutions across the globe have adopted it as a framework for evaluating sources.

Both the text and video link below helps explain the C.R.A.A.P. test.

Currency = the timeliness of the information

  • When was the OER published or posted?
  • Has the OER been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance = the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the OER relate to your needs?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information in the OER at an appropriate level for your learners?

Authority = the source of the information

  • Who is the creator?
  • What are the creator’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Are the creators/collaborators contributors qualified to write on the topic?

Accuracy = the reliability and truthfulness of the information

  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the OER been reviewed or refereed?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Purpose = the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Take a look at this two minute video created by Western University Libraries, London, ON, that provides an overview of the CRAAP test:

Worth exploring:

Howard Rheinglod’s Compedium of CRAP detection resources is a useful reference guide as you explore resources on the web.

Extend Activity

C.R.A.A.P connections

Regardless of your discipline, you are concerned with learners’ understanding of their limited privacy online.

Your evaluation:

Culminating Activities

  • Apply the CRAAP test to the resources that you chose for your contribution to our shared Padlet when you were exploring the repositories.
  • Use the CRAAP test to evaluate the resources for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, purpose. If any of them “fail” the CRAAP try to find another one to replace it.
  • Now that you have deemed the resource worthy, annotate each resource, using “Add comment”. Briefly explain how you would use this resource in your course.
  • Peruse some of the contributions that are already there. Feel free to add constructive comments to their curated creations.
  • Blog about the resources that you have chosen, share them with your colleagues, and reflect on the ways that you will use them in your course. Tweet a link to the blog with #oextend.

The goal of this module is to extend your awareness and appreciation of content curation. We hope that you also recognize it as a viable and vital option for finding resources as you design, develop and revise courses. Armed with knowledge to source and assess open education resources, you now have the tools to take more control over customizing your courses while saving your learners money.

If you want to challenge yourself and better suit your learners, choose more than one type of media. For major concepts, it is a good idea to source resources from print, audio, and visual information. These provide learners with choice and help solidify challenging concepts by providing multiple points of access.