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Affordable Course Materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) for Faculty: Communicating the Value of OER

Appeal to Administration

Below are the most important resources you can use when helping administrators understand the value of OER:

Benefits of OER

24/7 Access

Students can access course materials from any internet connection.

First Day Access

All students have access to course materials by day 1 of class, if not earlier.

Remove Financial Obstacles

Remove the financial barriers that may result in students not purchasing materials and eliminate stress around locating more affordable or discounted copies.

Customizable Materials

Materials can be customized to match the teaching styles and the learning needs of students.

Effects of Textbook Costs

In 2018, over 21,000 students participated in the Florida Virtual Campus Student Textbook Survey, which examined how the cost of textbooks and course materials has impacted their education, purchasing behaviors and academic success. 

A key finding of the 2018 survey indicates the high cost of textbooks continues to negatively impact student access, success, and completion.

graph showing the impact of textbook costs are: not purchasing the required textbook (64.2%); taking fewer courses (42.8%); not registering the for a specific course (40.5%); earning a poor grade (35.6%); and dropping a course (22.9%) 

Getting Support Checklist

Possible Stakeholders to Discuss OER with:

  • Department Head- what will support within the department be?
  • Dean- will there be administrative support? Can the school collaborate with other schools?
  • Bookstore- how should they be notified? How will this affect them? Could they play a role in printing or other distribution? Could students order OER directly from them? 
  • Director of College LMS/ educational technology- considerations in loading and accessing content
  • ADA expert- how will these materials be accessible?


Guide Copyright, Permissions, and Attributions

This research guide was molded by Nicole Arnold and Nicole Carpenter, built off the work of Allegra Swift at UCSD and Elizabeth Salmon at UC Merced.