OU Libraries
OU Libraries

Search by title, author...

LIBRARY GUIDE TO Converting to a Zero Textbook Price Course Learning Community

The purpose of this learning community is to learn about Open Educational Resources (OER) and alternatives to traditional textbooks and how they can impact student debt and enhance pedagogical practice. 
OER and open pedagogy are inclusive by nature. Materials can be shaped for each audience to develop socially relevant and culturally sensitive content. Those faculty members who are unfamiliar with using inclusive design and developing for accessibility will gain exposure to these concepts through the OER vetting and design process. 

Participants in this learning community will become part of a community of faculty who can support and mentor each other. Members will develop presentations and poster sessions together to disseminate their knowledge and experiences. Participants will receive a small stipend for full participation in the community.
CETL Learning Communities 2019-2020  Facilitators: Julia Rodriguez, Dikka Berven and Caterina Pieri
You can find more information about OER on the Open Educational Resources library guide
and the Affordable Course Materials Initiative website

If you would like assistance with finding OER and affordable materials for your courses, please contact
Julia Rodriguezjuliar@oakland.edu
Objectives & Outcomes
  1. To educate faculty about OER and affordable options for course materials.
  2. To provide professional development training for discovering, vetting and developing open content.
  3. Develop a community of faculty interested in OER, course affordability and open pedagogy that can support each other and disseminate what they’ve learned. 
  1. Participants will gain knowledge about OER and affordable options.
  2. Participants will develop skills for locating, vetting and developing open content.
  3. Participants will share what they learned with colleagues at OU and beyond.
  4. Participants will incorporate open content into current or future courses and/or include opportunities for enhancing practice through the use of open pedagogy.
Textbook prices have risen steadily, and in the last decade, have increased in price by 88% or four times the rate of inflation.1 The high cost of textbooks is an obstacle to student success, is associated with dropout and failure, and contributes to the heavy burden of student debt following graduation. The College Board estimates the average undergraduate university student pays $1,250 per year for textbooks and supplies.2
As reported by the student chapter of the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG):2,3,4 
  • 66.6% of students have decided not to buy a textbook because of the cost.
  • 94% of students believe that not purchasing a textbook will hurt their grade.
  • Nearly all students said that the cost of the book was a factor in deciding whether to take the class.
  • 29.7% of students in 4-year public institutions use financial aid to cover 70% of the cost of textbooks which can amount to more than $300 per semester.
  • American students are paying $1,575 billion per semester or $3.15 billion per year in financial aid on textbooks.
 Open Educational Resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. OER include full courses, course materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. Open Textbooks are a form of OER that are widely used and provide free, adaptable, openly licensed peer-reviewed quality textbooks and supplemental resources. Studies have shown that students in courses that use OER more frequently had lower failure and withdrawal rates, and in some cases better grades, than their counterparts in courses that did not use OER.5,6,7,8  Recent reports suggest minority and non-white students are benefiting at greater rates from OER, as well as those students at financial risk who often get stopped out owing very small sums.9 ,10
Incorporating OER into courses and redesigning courses with open content provides an opportunity for employing a variety of pedagogical strategies. When students are engaged as creators of information rather than simply consumers and asked to demonstrate understanding through the creation of content, this practice is called open pedagogy. “Open pedagogy is a high-impact practice that empowers students by providing them an opportunity to engage in information creation through the use of renewable assignments.”11 
Works Cited
Works Cited
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, “College tuition and fees increase 63 percent since January 2006.” Published August 30, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/college-tuition-and-fees-increase-63-percent-since-january-2006.htm
  2. Senack, E. Open textbooks: The billion-dollar Solution. Student PIRGs Center for Public Interest Research, Inc. Published February 25, 2015.Retrieved from https://studentpirgs.org/reports/sp/open-textbooks-billion-dollar-solution
  3. Senack, E., & Donoghue, R. (2016). Covering the cost: Why we can no longer afford to ignore high textbook prices. Student PIRGs Center for Public Interest Research, Inc. Published 2016. Retrieved from https://studentpirgs.org/reports/sp/covering-cost
  4. Senack, E. Fixing the Broken Textbook Market. U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs Center for Public Interest Research, Inc. Published January, 27, 2014. Retrieved from https://studentpirgs.org/sites/student/files/reports/NATIONAL%20Fixing%20Broken%20Textbooks%20Report1.pdf
  5. Feldstein, A., Martin, M., Hudson, A., Warren, K., Hilton III, J., & Wiley, D. Open textbooks and increased student access and outcomes. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. 2012; 15(2).
  6.  Grewe, K., & Davis, W. P. The Impact of Enrollment in an OER Course on Student Learning Outcomes. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. 2017; 18(4).
  7.  Hilton III, J., & Laman, C. One college’s use of an open psychology textbook. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning. 2012; 27(3), 265-272.
  8.  Pawlyshyn, N., Braddlee, D., Casper, L., & Miller, H. Adopting OER: A case study of cross-institutional collaboration and innovation. Educause Review. Published 2013. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2013/11/adopting-oer-a-case-study-of-crossinstitutional-collaboration-and-innovation
  9. Shankie, E. Dropout Rate for College Students Driven by Income Inequality. Published October 23, 2014. Retrieved from https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2014/10/23/dropout-rate-for-college-students-driven-by-inequality
  10. Colvard, N. B., Watson, C. E., & Park, H. (2018). The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(2), 262-276.
  11. Introduction to Open Pedagogy (2018). UTA Libraries. Retrieved from https://libguides.uta.edu/openped


OU Libraries | 100 Library Drive, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4479 | (248) 370-2471
Accessibility | Sitemap | Hours | Location | Comments | Webmaster

Hours | Location

OU Libraries on Facebook OU Libraries on Twitter OU Libraries on Instagram OU Libraries News