Assessing the Savings from Open Educational Resources on Student Academic Goals
Our study found that most students considered OER to be as good or better in terms of quality and engagement as traditional texts, while also allowing them to put saved funds toward their educational pursuits. As rising costs in higher education affect current and potential students, faculty and students are looking for ways to cut costs where possible. Open educational resources (OER) are a viable option to replace expensive traditional textbooks without sacrificing quality. This article presents the results of a study conducted with students at a Virginia community college who took courses that used OER. At the end of the semester, students were asked to rate their perceptions of the OER quality and their level of engagement with OER as compared to traditional textbooks. Results indicate that a majority of students found the OER to be as good as or better than traditional textbooks in both quality and engagement. While similar studies have been conducted, this study also asked students to briefly describe how they used the money saved by not having to purchase a textbook. Many students indicated they used the money to reinvest in their education by paying tuition, purchasing materials for other courses, or taking additional courses; day-to-day expenses and savings were the next most common responses. Further research needs to be conducted to understand the effect these savings and reinvestment have on students’ completion of academic goals.
Copyright (c) 2017 Tarah K. Ikahihifo, Kristian Spring, Jane Rosecrans, Josh Watson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. The copyright of all content published in IRRODL is retained by the authors.
This copyright agreement and use license ensures, among other things, that an article will be as widely distributed as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific and/or scholarly archive.
You are free to
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms below:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.