Textbooks are prohibitively expensive for some students, especially those who rely on grants and student loans to attend college. Studies show that 60% of students have not bought a textbook because it is too expensive, and 23% of students forego purchasing a required course textbook because of the expense.
The Open Textbook project at BC Campus showed that adoption of just 12 Open Textbooks in classes saved their students over in one year.
A study of eight colleges from around the United States shows that students saved an average of $900 per year on textbooks when their professors used Open Textbooks or Open Educational Resources in place of commercial textbooks.
OER include not just textbooks, but also lesson plans, assignments, exams, and in-class activities. OER are created by instructors from all around the world and shared with others teaching similar topics. Instead of creating course content all on their own, instructors can take advantage of high-quality course materials already made by others. Instructors can then spend more time on their personalized lectures, feedback, and one-on-one assistance for students.
OER are being adopted by faculty at universities around the country. Even just a few faculty using OER rather than costly textbooks and course materials can have an incredible impact on the student experience. The infographic below shows some figures from one project in British Columbia.
There are a lot of myths about OER.
Don't fall for them! Check out this excellent resource on OER Mythbusting: