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Open Educational Resources

Find, use, adapt available open textbooks to enhance college coursework.


Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2016). Opening the textbook: educational resources in U.S. higher education, 2015-16. Babson Survey Research Group 
• [see summary of its findings here from Chronicle of Higher Ed.]

Christie, A., Pollitz, J. H., & Middleton, C. (2009). Student strategies for coping with textbook costs and the role of library course reserves. Portal: Libraries and the academy9(4), 491-510.

Crissinger, Sarah. (2015). A critical take on OER practices: Interrogating commercialization, colonialism, and content. In the Library With the Lead Pipe

Kelly, Rhea. (2014). Research: Two-thirds of faculty unaware of open education resources. Campus Technology, October 29.

Lieberman, Mark. (2018, March 28).  Feds come around to OER -- Slowly. Inside Higher Ed

Lieberman, Mark. (2018, January 10). The truth (about OER) is out there: Faculty members struggle to find open educational resources or even understand what they are--but solutions are bubbling up. Inside Higher Ed

Lyons, C. (2014). Library roles with textbook affordability. Against the Grain, 26(5), 1+.

Meyer, L. (2016). Report: Students shun new textbooks to reduce education expenses. Campus Technology, August 24.

Nagar, R. and J. Hallam-Miller (2019). Open educational resourcesTips and Trends. Instructional Technology Section. ACRL Instruction Section.

Perry, M. (2012). The college textbook bubble and how the “open educational resources” movement is going up against the textbook cartelAmerican Enterprise Institute.

Affordable College Textbook Act (pending)

The Affordable College Textbook Act (originally proposed in 2013) was re-introduced in October 2015, would establish a grant program to lease open textbooks to students.

Fact sheet & bill & advocacy from SPARC:

Read more:

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Textbook facts

as reported in 2014 by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs

  • College textbook prices have increased by 82% in the past ten years, aka 3x the rate of inflation
  • Though alternatives to the new print edition textbooks exist, the costs of these alternatives (such as rental programs, used book markets and e-textbooks) are still dictated by publishers who re-issue editions every few years
  • On average students spend $1,200 a year on textbooks which = 14% of tuition at a four-year, public college; 39% of tuition at community college
  • 65% of students choose not to buy a college textbook because it’s too expensive
  • 94% report that they suffer academically because of this choice
  • 48% say they altered which classes they took based on textbook costs, either taking fewer classes or different classes