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Open Educational Resources (OER)

A guide to free textbooks and instructional aides

Open Educational Resources (OER) OER are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning and research.  The open education resources movement was introduced in 2001 Particularly importance to OER learning resources, are the licenses which are based on creative commons licenses. There are several types of CC licenses. The licenses differ by several combinations. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001

Considerations: What are student responses to Open Educational Resources (OER) and textbooks Understand that textbook prices have increased by more than 15 times since the 1970’s. As a result of the high cost of textbooks, 7 in 10 students surveyed by the USA’s Public Research Interest Group (PIRG) in early 2011 reported at least on occasion where they have not bought a textbook for a course. Video of students currently using OER discussing their rational. Purchasing expensive texkbooks keeps students from taking more classes and students taking more hours are moer likely to graduate. Are the learning outcomes as good with OER products as with standard textbooks? Work done at the Economics Department at FRCC/LC indicates outcomes are good.  Through the use of a student data in the form of final exam and course grades there is little change in learning outcomes/academic achievement using OER

There is a direct relationship between textbook costs and student success Bar graph: 60% plus do not purchase textbooks at some point due to cost 35% take fewer courses due to textbook cost 31% choose not to register for a course due to textbook cost 23% regularly go without textbooks due to cost 14% have dropped a course due to textbook cost 10% have withdrawn from a course due to textbook cost. Source: 2012 student survey by Florida Virtual Campus

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Helpful Citations.


1  Pitt, Rebecca. “Mainstreaming Open Textbooks: Educator Perspectives on the Impact of
      Openstax College Open Textbooks.” International Review of Research in Open & Distance
vol. 16, no. 4, Oct. 2015, pp. 133-155,

2.  Tacomass4Reel.YouTube, YouTube, 8 June 2012,

2.5 Donaldson, R. Nelson, D. & Thomas, E (2012) 2012 Florida student textbook and OER survey. Florida Virtual Campus. Retrieved

 3.  Hendricks, Christina, et al. “The Adoption of an Open Textbook in a Large Physics Course:

An Analysis of Cost, Outcomes, Use, and Perceptions.” International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, vol. 18, no. 4, June 2017, pp. 78-99. EBSCOhost,

4..Grewe, Kim E. and W. Preston Davis. “The impact of Enrollment in an OER Course on Student

Learning Outcomes.” International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, vol. 18, no. 4, June 2017, pp. 231-238. 

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