OER Annotated Bibliography (v.1 / 2020) PDF 

Student Testimonials

Jhangiani, R. S., & Jhangiani, S. (2017). Investigating the Perceptions, Use, and Impact of Open Textbooks: A survey of Post-Secondary Students in British Columbia. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i4.3012

The   survey investigates  students’  textbook  purchasing  behaviours,  including  whether,  where,  and  in  what format(s) they purchase and access their required textbooks; the negative impact of textbook costs on their  course  enrolment,  persistence,  and  performance;  how  they  access  and  use  their  open  textbook, including  their  format  preferences  and  study  habits;  and  their  perceptions  of  their  open  textbook, including its quality and what features they like and dislike. (PC)

Faculty Awareness and Buy-in

Belikov, O., & Bodily, R. (2016). Incentives and barriers to OER adoption: A qualitative analysis of faculty perceptions. Open Praxis, 8(3), 235-246. https//doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.8.3.308

This article identifies the barriers faculty face and the incentives for faculty to adopt OER materials. While the article doesn’t supply solutions to overcome these barriers it does a good job outlining the difficulties of faculty implementation. (GM)

Seaman, Julia E. and Jeff Seaman. Freeing the Textbook: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education, Babson Survey Research Group. 2018. http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/freeingthetextbook2018.pdf 

This detailed report surveyed  3,288 faculty and 812 chairpersons and uncovered some interesting findings including awareness and textbook satisfaction. (GM)

Wiley, David. (Dec. 9, 2016). High impact practices for integrating OER into university courses. [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3CY6RR4uns

A conference presentation by Wiley which gives a detailed overview of Open Educational Resources and their value to students and faculty (both financial and pedagogical).  This goes beyond a brief introduction and begins to address the possibilities of OER in the classroom. (TO)

Case Studies

Colvard, Nicholas B., C. Edward Watson, and Hyojin Park. The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 30, no. 2 (2018): 262-276.

This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. (GM)

Fisher, Lane, John Hilton III, T. Jared Robinson, and David A. Wiley. A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of postsecondary Students. J Comput High Educ (2015) 27:159–172.

In some educational settings, the cost of textbooks approaches or even exceeds the cost of tuition. Given limited resources, it is important to better understand the impacts of free open educational resources (OER) on student outcomes. Utilizing digital resources such as OER can substantially reduce costs for students. The purpose of this study was to analyze whether the adoption of no-cost open digital textbooks significantly predicted students’ completion of courses, class achievement, and enrollment intensity during and after semesters in which OER were used. This study utilized a quantitative quasi-experimental design with propensity-score matched groups to examine differences in outcomes between students that used OER and those who did not. The demographics of the initial sample of 16,727 included 4909 students in the treatment condition with a pool of 11,818 in the control condition. There were statistically significant differences between groups, with most favoring students utilizing OER. (KL)

Hilton, John III. Open educational resources, student efficacy, and user perceptions: a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018. Education Tech Research Dev (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-019-09700-4 

Although textbooks are a traditional component in many higher education contexts, their increasing price have led many students to forgo purchasing them and some faculty to seek substitutes. One such alternative is open educational resources (OER). This present study synthesizes results from sixteen efficacy and twenty perceptions studies involving 121,168 students or faculty that examine either (1) OER and student efficacy in higher education settings or (2) the perceptions of college students and/or instructors who have used OER. Results across these studies suggest students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when using OER while saving significant amounts of money. The results also indicate that the majority of faculty and students who have used OER had a positive experience and would do so again.(KL)

Grewe, K., & Davis, W. P. (2017). The Impact of Enrollment in an OER Course on Student Learning Outcomes. The International Review of Research  in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i4.2986

A highly limited study of a single course that concludes that OER usage has a positive impact on student academic achievement. (PC)


OER Adoption Impact Calculatorhttps://impact.lumenlearning.com/ This tool can be used to assess OER impact at a specific institution. It probably could be used to measure impact across a consortium as well. (GM)

Alignment with ACRL Framework for Info Lit

Meta analysis

Clinton, V., & Khan, S. (2019). Efficacy of Open Textbook Adoption on Learning Performance and Course Withdrawal Rates: A Meta-Analysis. AER Open. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858419872212

While this meta-analysis concludes that there is little impact on student learning with OER, having access to such resources significantly reduces withdrawal rates. The authors note a number of limitations to their study. (PC)


Created by Chris Barnes, Digital Publishing Librarian, Adelphi University