This guide offers information and best practices related to the adoption of zero-cost course materials. This content can be used to assist with the course redesign process.
The information is split into 7 categories:
Information in this guide is remixed and adapted from the following resources:
ACC Learn OER by Carrie Gits is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The OER Starter Kit by Abbey K. Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Understanding OER by SUNY OER Services, Project: OER Community Course, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Zero-Cost Textbook Adoption, by Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Waubonsee's Zero-Cost Textbook Adoption LibGuide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Waubonsee’s logos and branding template are not covered by this license, and all rights to such material are reserved.
Colvard, N., Watson, C. & Park, H. (2018). The impact of open educational resources on student success metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(2), 262-276.
Florida Virtual Campus. (2018). 2018 student textbook and course materials survey: Executive summary.
Grimaldi, P., Basu Mallick D., Waters A., Baraniuk, R. (2019, March 6). Do open educational resources improve student learning? Implications of the access hypothesis. PLOS|One.
Hilton, J. (2016) Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions. Education Tech Research and Development, 64(4), 573 – 590.
SPARC. (2018). SPARC Open Education.
Student loan debt now sits at $1.5 trillion in the United States. This chart demonstrates the rise of student debt compared with consumer revolving credit, or credit card debt, since 2006. It has tripled in the last decade. About two-thirds of students borrow to get through school, and the average borrower graduates with about $30,000 worth of debt. Costs for college are on the rise as well, with increases in tuition seen every year.
Textbooks are definitely not the highest education cost, but their costs are rising at an alarming rate: Over 1000% in the last 40 years. This rate is three to four times the rate of inflation, as shown by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) line on the chart above. This is a much faster rate than any other consumer product.
"Infographic: Impact of Student Textbook Costs on Student Progress” by Florida Virtual Campus Office of Distance Learning & Student Services, 2018 is licensed under CC BY 4.0
While only a portion of the overall price for college, the cost of textbooks can have a detrimental effect on student success. Some students have to borrow more, are likely not to buy required materials at some point, and might even earn a poor grade, drop, or fail a class because of text prices.