New OER survey : Opening the textbook – Educational resources in US higher Education 2015-16

July 27th, 2016

Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG) published a new report relating to the OER usage in US higher education titled “Opening the Textbook – Educational Resources in US Higher Education“. The report shows that OER is not a driving force in the selection of materials.

The group surveyed more than 3000 faculty staff from US and cited the most significant barrier in low awareness about OER being the effort required to find and evaluate such materials.New OER survey : Opening the textbook - Educational resources in US higher Education 2015-16

The most notable key findings from the report include:

  • Faculty awareness of OER has increased, with 25% of faculty reporting that they were “Aware” or “Very Aware” of open educational resources, up from 20% last year.
  • Only 5.3% of courses are using open textbooks (includes public domain and Creative Commons licensed).
  • Large enrollment introductory undergraduate courses have adopted openly licensed OpenStax College textbooks at twice the rate (10%) as openly licensed textbooks among all courses.
  • The most common factor cited by faculty when selecting educational resources was the cost to the students. After cost, the next most common was the comprehensiveness of the resource, followed by how easy it was to find.
  • There is a serious disconnect between how many faculty consider a factor in selecting educational resources and how satisfied they are with the state of that factor. Faculty are least satisfied with the cost of textbooks, yet that is the most commonly listed factor for why they select resources.
  • The barriers to adopting OER most often cited by faculty are that “there are not enough resources for my subject” (49%), it is “too hard to find what I need” (48%) and “there is no comprehensive catalog of resources” (45%).

There’s a lot more in the report, including a significant inclusion of sample open-ended responses and data tables in the appendix. Go download and read the whole report and share your views about increasing the OER awareness in the comments below.