Documentation:Open UBC/Fast Facts for Instructors

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Survey of BC post-secondary faculty


In a survey of faculty in BC post-secondary institutions asking about their attitudes towards and experiences with open textbooks and other OER (Exploring Faculty Use of Open Educational Resources at British Columbia Post-secondary Institutions, 2016 - pdf), researchers found:

  • Most faculty rate the quality of open textbooks and other open educational resources to be as good or better than traditional educational resources, and those who have used OER rate them even more highly than those who haven't.
  • The most frequently used kinds of OER reported by BC faculty are images, videos and open textbooks.
  • The top reasons reported for using OER were for ideas and inspiration for teaching, to supplement existing coursework, and to broaden the types of resources available for learners.
  • Many faculty report that they use a broader range multimedia in their teaching as a result of using OER, as well as a broader set of teaching and learning methods.

See more highlights from this survey, here.

Survey of faculty in the U.S.


In a recent study of attitudes, opinions, and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) among more than 2100 teaching faculty in U.S. higher education (Opening the Curriculum: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014 - pdf), researchers found *:

  • Faculty are not very aware of open educational resources.
  • Faculty appreciate the concepts of OER. When presented with the concept of OER, most faculty say that they are willing to give it a try.
  • Awareness of OER isn’t a requirement for adoption of OER. More faculty are using OER than report that they were aware of the term OER.Resource adoption decisions often are made without any awareness of the specific licensing of the material, or its OER status.
  • Faculty judge the quality of OER to be roughly equivalent to that of traditional educational resources. Among faculty who do offer an opinion, three-quarters rank OER quality as the same as or better than traditional resources.
  • The most significant barrier to wider adoption of OER remains a faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it.

excerpt from* : Babson Survey Research Group.

How many students don't purchase textbooks or don't take classes because of textbook costs

A significant number of students don't buy textbooks for their courses, or make decisions on which courses to take based on textbook costs:

  • The Higher Education Strategy Associates found through talking with about 1350 post-secondary students in 2012, while two-thirds of students overall reported buying all the textbooks for their courses during one term (Fall 2012), the proportion who reported doing so dropped with the cost of the textbooks:
  • 82% said they bought all the textbooks if the total cost for all their courses that term was $200 or less
  • 74% bought all the textbooks if the cost was $200-$400
  • 60% bought all the textbooks if the cost was $400-$600
  • 48% bought all the textbooks if the total cost was over $600
  • The same data showed that 39% of students said their total textbook cost for that term was under $200, 48% said it was between $200 and $600, and 13% said it was over $600.
  • 64% of students said they seldom, occasionally or frequently didn't purchase a textbook for a course (with 23% saying they "frequently" did not)
  • 45% said they seldom, occasionally or frequently didn't take a particular course because of textbook cost (with 10% saying "frequently")
  • 49% said they seldom, occasionally or frequently took fewer courses overall because of textbook costs (with 11% saying "frequently")
  • Chart from Fixing the Broken Textbook Market report (2014)
    In 2013, the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) surveyed over 2000 students from over 150 campuses (Fixing the Broken Textbook Market (2014)) and found:
  • 65% of students reported not buying a textbook for a course because of cost
  • 94% of students who hadn't bought a textbook for a course were concerned that this would hurt their grade for the course
  • 48% of students said that textbook costs impacted which or how many courses they took
  • 82% of students felt they would do significantly better in courses if textbooks were free online and purchasing hard copies was optional