Making the case for OER
Academics cite benefits of OER ranging from student satisfaction to better learning outcomes.
- Colvard, Watson, & Park (2018) find that OER improves outcomes for all students, but especially for Pell recipients, part-time students, and those from underrepresented groups.
- Ozdemir and Hendricks (2017) find that open textbooks offer quality material and improved learning at lower cost.
- Wiley, Williams, DeMarte, and Hilton (2016) demonstrate that OER in universities "pays for itself" by increasing student retention.
- Fischer, Hilton, Robinson, and Wiley (2015) also find that classes using OER performed as well as or better than on key success measures compared to those with commercial textbooks.
Other reports and resources highlight the promise of OER in innovating and democratizing education.
Various organizations also dedicate themselves to communicating OER benefits from financial impact to learning gains.
Advancing the use of OER
There is plenty of opportunity for us to do more! Bay View Analytics (2020) surveyed more than 3,200 faculty and found that faculty awareness of OER is increasing but still remains around 60%. Efforts are also ongoing to encourage open textbooks through legislation. The Affordable College Textbook Act has been introduced in Congress again in 2022 (as H.R.7040 and S.3818). Sponsors include Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
Here is a tool to visualize the impact of OER.
Student can also get involved with the following resources.
Learning more about OER
Some organizations dedicate areas of their site to discussing open education and OER.
Library and library organizations also guide and track OER efforts.
Books on OER compile longer readings on open education.
OER handouts and PowerPoint slides
These were created by Cheryl (Cuillier) Casey and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY). Stand by for more links!
- "Why OER? The Advantages & Challenges of OER & Open Pedagogy," 2022 OE-Arkansas Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- "OER Toolkit" [Word document, updated 3/11/22]
- "Open Pedagogy Resources," 2021 Open Education Conference [Word document]
- "Taking OER to the Next Level," 2021 Open Education Cooperative at the Library Project in Poland [PowerPoint slides]
- "Librarian Contributions in Launching a New Veterinary Medicine College," 2021 USAIN presentation with Jeanne Pfander [PowerPoint slides]
- "Library & Bookstore Collaborations," 2020 CUNY presentation [PowerPoint slides]
- "Faculty, Library, Bookstore Collaborations Vital to Student Success," 2020 Faculty Senate presentation [PowerPoint slides]
- "Getting Started with OER," 2020 Open Education Week for Open Oregon [PowerPoint slides]
- "Overcoming Obstacles to OER Adoption," 2020 Arizona Regional OER Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- “Building & Sustaining a Textbook Affordability Program,” 2019 Arizona Library Association Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- "Ways to Lower the Cost of Course Materials" [Word document]
- "Selected Resources from the Certificate in OER Librarianship" with Olivia Reinauer, 2019 OpenEd Conference [Word document]
- "Increasing Student Success with OER," OCLC Library Futures Conference 2019 [PowerPoint slides]
- "Copyright Basics & Where to Find Free Resources," 2019 Arizona Library Association Virtual Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- "OER & the Affordability Spectrum for Course Materials," 2019 Open Education Week brown bag [PowerPoint slides]
- "Finding & Using Free Images, Videos, Songs, & Readings," 2019 Open Education Week workshop [PowerPoint slides]
- "Creative Commons Licenses" handout, 2019 [Word document]
- "OER 101" handout, 2019 [Word document]
- "OER 101 Workshop," 2019 Arizona OER Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- "With Open Textbooks, Access = Opportunity," 2018 Arizona Library Association Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- "Getting Started with OER," 2018 OpenEd Conference [PowerPoint slides]
- "Overcoming Objections to OER from Faculty & Administrators," 2018 Digital Initiatives Symposium [PowerPoint slides]
- "Creative Commons Workshop," 2018 UA workshop [PowerPoint slides]
- "Open Educational Resources (OER) 101" handout, 2018 [Word document]
- "Ways to Lower the Cost of Course Materials" handout, 2018 [Word document]
- "Collaborating with Your Campus Bookstore," 2017 OpenEd Conference [PowerPoint slides]
Materials from past OER events
The following are materials from other OER events held at the University of Arizona.
2018 Open Ed Week at the UA
2017 Open Education Month at the UA