In addition to cost savings, OER have been shown to improve student learning. Learn more about the impact of OER from these resources:
“I discovered over six years ago that I could make my courses more accessible to students if I used OER materials and removed the onus of purchasing an expensive textbook. ... As an OER early adopter, I got the chance to review College Physics while it was still in production. It was the best physics textbook I’d seen, and better than some $300 books, in my opinion. Since adopting College Physics, my class enrollments have increased and my students’ scores on the national physics benchmark exam have improved by 30 percent.”
– Erik Christensen, professor of physics at South Florida State College and OpenStax College’s first user
“I am very pleased with my adoption of the OpenStax textbook Introduction to Sociology. ... For a long time, I have been wanting a quality e-book which would not separate those who could afford the textbook from those who could not. ... For academicians who, like me, teach from a perspective of social justice and environmental sustainability, textbooks from OpenStax College provide an ethical and conscientious option.”
– William Rose, assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York, Oswego, whose course was the 1,000th for which an OpenStax College textbook was adopted
Doan, Tomalee. "Why Not OER?" portal: Libraries and the Academyc 17.4 (2017): 665-669.
Fischer, Lane, Hilton, John, III, Robinson, T. Jared, and Wiley, David A. "A Multi-Institutional Study of the Impact of Open Textbook Adoption on the Learning Outcomes of Post-Secondary Students." Journal of Computing in Higher Education 27.3 (2015): 159-72.
Scanlon, Eileen, McAndrew, Patrick, and O'Shea, Tim. "Designing for Educational Technology to Enhance the Experience of Learners in Distance Education: How Open Educational Resources, Learning Design and MOOCs Are Influencing Learning." Journal of Interactive Media in Education 1 (2015).
Wiley, David, Linda Williams, Daniel Demarte, and John Hilton. "The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption." Education Policy Analysis Archives 24 (2016): 41.
Bliss, T.J., John Hilton III, David Wiley, and Kim Thanos. (2013) The Cost and Quality of Online Open Textbooks: Perceptions of Community College Faculty and Students. First Monday, 18.1, n. pag.
Studied satisfaction rates and perceptions of OER in a community college population. Generally, the open textbooks used in this study were well received, but issues with technology or flawed OER texts result in negative perceptions by students.
Bliss, T., Robinson, T. J., Hilton, J., & Wiley, D. (2013). An OER COUP: College Teacher and Student Perceptions of Open Educational Resources. Journal of Interactive Media in Education.
Student and instructor perceptions of OER at 8 community colleges.
Hilton III, John. (2016) Open Educational Resources and College Textbook Choices: A Review of Research on Efficacy and Perceptions. Educational Technology Research & Development, 64.1, 1-18.
Reviews sixteen studies about the efficacy and perception of OER in higher education. Concludes that when OER materials are used students achieve on par with traditional textbooks, save money, and come away with positive feelings about OER materials.
A large multi-campus survey of college students in Florida to assess student attitudes and preferences about course materials. Findings show a clear preference for free and low cost course materials, as well as the impact of high-cost textbooks.
Jin, Yu-Ju, and Hengtao Tang. (2017) Exploring Student Perceptions of the Use of Open Educational Resources to Reduce Statistics Anxiety. Journal of Formative Design in Learning, 1-16.
Studies the impact of OER adoption on student anxiety experienced in statistics courses. The study found a positive effect on student anxiety levels when the studied OER were used.
*Armellini, Alejandro, and Ming Nie. (2013) Open Educational Practices For Curriculum Enhancement. Open Learning, 28.1, 7-20.
Reports on open educational practices (OEP) and the adoption and adaptation of OER in UK universities. Suggests ways institutions can support the use and creation of OER, with the goal of making OER adoption more sustainable and widespread.
Bowen, W. G., Chingos, M. M., Lack, K. A., & Nygren, T. I. (2012).Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials. Ithaka S+R.
Examines the efficacy of an online/hybrid course in a variety of educational settings and diverse student populations.
Feldstein, Andrew, Mirta Martin, Amy Hudson, Kiara Warren, John Hilton III, and David Wiley. (2012) Open Textbooks And Increased Student Access And Outcomes. European Journal Of Open, Distance And E-Learning.
Core business courses at Virginia State University replaced traditional textbooks with OER content, resulting in more students accessing the textbook (compared to sales of hard copies) and higher grades. Students surveyed reported very high satisfaction with OER materials.
Fischer, Lane. John Hilton III, T. Jared Robinson, and David Wiley. (2015) A Multi-Institutional Study of the Impact of Open Textbook Adoption on the Learning Outcomes of Post-Secondary Students. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 27.3, 159-172.
Research study across multiple institutions on the efficacy of OER materials in undergraduate classes. Students assigned to OER materials had more favorable outcomes in several areas including course completion rates, course grades, and enrollment in future courses.
Pawlyshyn, Nancy, Dr. Braddlee, Linda Casper, and Howard Miller. (2013) Adopting OER: A Case Study of Cross-Institutional Collaboration and Innovation. Educause Review.
Implementing OER in an underperforming first-year seminar at Mercy College (NY) boosts student retention and learning. Faculty collaboration, excitement, and innovation are credited with a successful and quick implementation. Instructional design, assessment, implementation issues, and recommendations are discussed.
Petrides, L., Jimes, C., Middleton‐Detzner, C., Walling, J., & Weiss, S. (2011). Open textbook adoption and use: Implications for teachers and learners. Open Learning, 26(1), 39-49.
Findings from a study of the Community College Open Textbook Project, including cost savings to students and new ways of developing curriculum for instructors.
Pitt, R., Ebrahimi, N., McAndrew, P., & Coughlan, T. (2013). Assessing OER impact across organizations and learners: experiences from the Bridge to Success project. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2013(3).
Examines impact of OER adoption in math classes at community colleges in the US. The study utilized diverse data including student learning outcomes, interviews and questionnaires, and course evaluations.
Hilton III, John, Donna Gaudet, Phil Clark, Jared Robinson, and David Wiley. (2013) The Adoption of Open Educational Resources by One Community College Math Department. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14.4, n. pag.
Community college students and faculty react favorably to the use of OER texts in five different math classes. OER adoption is credited with significant cost savings for students. Student success and completion rates were relatively unchanged; authors suggest further research is needed to determine impact of OER on student learning.
*Hilton III, John, and Carol Laman. (2012) One College’s Use Of An Open Psychology Textbook. Open Learning, 27.3, 265-272.
Students using OER outperformed peers using traditional course materials in an introductory psychology class at Houston Community College. Thorough discussion of cost savings for community college students when OER materials are adopted.
Hilton III, John, T. Jared Robinson, David Wiley, and J. Dale Ackerman. (2014) Cost-Savings Achieved in Two Semesters Through the Adoption of Open Educational Resources. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 15.2.
Students enjoyed significant savings in eight colleges where OER materials were used. Study data and comparisons to traditional textbook prices are examined.
Student PIRGs. "Covering the Cost: Why We Can No Longer Afford to Ignore High Textbook Prices." February 2016.
Findings of a national survey of college students demonstrates the impact of costly textbooks on students and highlights the urgent need to move to free and low cost course materials.
Allen, G., Guzman-Alvarez, A., Molinaro, M., Larsen, D. (2015). Assessing the Impact and Efficacy of the Open-Access ChemWiki Textbook Project. Educause Learning Initiative Brief, January 2015.
Assesses the success and future of an open Chemistry resource at University of California Davis.
Lindshield, B., & Adhikari, K. (2013). Online and Campus College Students Like Using an Open Educational Resource Instead of a Traditional Textbook. Journal of Online Learning & Teaching, (1), 1–7.
Measures satisfaction with a “flexbook” OER used in online and face-to-face sections of a Human Nutrition class.
Robinson T. J., Fischer, L., Wiley, D. A., & Hilton, J. (2014). The impact of open textbooks on secondary science learning outcomes. Educational Researcher, 43(7): 341-351.
A study of high school students using OER for science classes found that they performed better on exams than their peers using traditional course materials.
*Scanlon, Eileen. (2012) Open Educational Resources In Support Of Science Learning: Tools For Inquiry And Observation. Distance Education, 33.2, 221-236.
Discusses how OER contributes to scientific literacy and the general public good, while also raising questions about how uneven access to technology limits OER’s impact. Provides case studies of two OER platforms (nQuire and iSpot).
*Sutton, Shan C., and Faye A. Chadwell. (2014) Open Textbooks At Oregon State University: A Case Study Of New Opportunities For Academic Libraries And University Presses. Journal Of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication, 4.4, 34-48.
A joint undertaking in open textbook authorship and publishing between Oregon State University Libraries and OSU’s Extended Campus (e-Campus). Article highlights issues of libraries as content creators/managers, the role of the OSU Press, adoption of OER materials, and next steps for the project moving forward. Authors recommend inter-institutional collaboration in creating OER texts to avoid duplication of effort and to reach the most users.