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Exploring the Impact of Open Textbooks Around the World


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"Exploring the Impact of Open Textbooks Around the World" was presented by Beck Pitt at the Open Textbook Summit #OTSummit in Vancouver on 28 May 2015.

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Exploring the Impact of Open Textbooks Around the World

  1. 1. Exploring the Impact of Open Textbooks around the World Open Textbook Summit, Vancouver, BC 28 May 2015 Beck Pitt The Open University (UK)
  2. 2. Background
  3. 3. CC-BY 4.0 Bea de los Arcos #oerrhub @OER_Hub • Open research project funded by William & Flora Hewlett Foundation • Aiming to build the most comprehensive picture of OER impact • Open collaboration model across different educational sectors • Global reach but with a USA focus • Fellowship Scheme • Researching openness in the open
  4. 4. Keyword Hypothesis Performance OER improve student performance/satisfaction Openness People use OER differently from other online materials Access OER widen participation in education Retention OER can help at-risk learners to finish their studies Reflection OER use leads educators to reflect on their practice Finance OER adoption brings financial benefits for students/institutions Indicators Informal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER Support Informal learners develop their own forms of study support Transition OER support informal learners in moving to formal study Policy OER use encourages institutions to change their policies Assessment Informal assessments motivate learners using OER
  5. 5. OER Impact Map OER Evidence Report:
  6. 6. OER Impact Map Data Explorer
  7. 7. Project Co-PILOT
  8. 8. Open Textbooks: Background & Cost savings
  9. 9. Educator Sample: OpenStax College 2014/2015 (N=50) • 50 Respondents in total (have used/use OSC textbooks) • 50% Male (n=25) and 50% Female (n=25) • Nearly 80% of respondents live in the United States (n=39) • Half of respondents work in an HE/University context (n=25) • Nearly 70% of respondents have been teaching for more than 10 years (68.8%, n=33) • Just under three quarters of respondents do F/T face-to-face teaching (72%, n=36) 85.7% of respondents told us they have adapted open educational resources to fit their needs (n=42) Imagesfrom
  10. 10. What motivates people to adopt/use OpenStax textbooks? “So why I decided to embrace the OpenStax textbook was two reasons. One for me, for the instructor. That I could design my curriculum around it, that I could design problem sets around it, I could design that order in which I teach my subject matter around it and be assured that in two years when the author decides he wants to update an edition, I didn’t have to change all my lessons … The second reason I decided to embrace OpenStax is that fact that, as a technical college level instructor, we are very, very cost conscious for our students … if you’re going to buy a textbook for $200/$250 it becomes $1000 dollars a semester for our students to buy books. And that’s just nutty. Our college really – that’s one of our decision making points when we pick the textbook: is this cost efficient for our students? …” (Educator interview, April 2015)
  11. 11. What motivates people to adopt/use OpenStax textbooks?
  12. 12. Some student cost saving examples: • Scottsdale Community College: 2000 students, pilot during Fall 2012. Estimated savings: ca. $125,000 (Hilton III et al, 2013) • OpenStax College textbooks report saving students over $30 million since June 2012 (as at Fall 2014) • University of Maryland University College (UMUC) report savings of $2.4 million + for students during Spring 2014 (E-resources in 267 out of 1013 UG courses) (UMUC, 2014) • Shoreline Community College report students saving ca. $162,848 through the use of open textbooks 2012-13 (Allen, April 2013) Do students save money using OER?
  13. 13. Do students save money using OER?
  14. 14. Over three quarters of educators surveyed told us that finding suitable resources in their subject area and/or finding resources of sufficiently high quality were most often faced challenges when searching for OER. (78.7%, n=37 & 76.6%, n=36 respectively, 2014-5 Educator Survey) 36.7% (2014-5) and 38.2% (2013) of educators we surveyed first became aware of OpenStax textbooks via Internet or other search; 18.4% (2014-5) and 27.6% (2013) of educators told us they had first become aware of OpenStax textbooks via colleagues, peers or other personal connection. The Challenge of Finding OER
  15. 15. OpenStax College 2014-5: Educator Perceptions of the Quality of OER “The quality of oer varies greatly from excellent to poor. traditional publishers have always great quality.” “I do have to create materials to supplement OER resources. It is work of love!” “I miss having access to test banks and worksheets.” “Love the freshness of the material.”
  16. 16. BCcampus Educator Survey: Educator Perceptions of the Quality of OER Image credit: survey-on-open-educational-resources/ CC-BY 4.0
  17. 17. Impact on Educators and Students
  18. 18. ‘I use a broader range of teaching & learning methods’ 64% ‘I reflect more on the way that I teach’ 59% ‘I have broadened my coverage of the curriculum’ 59% ‘I more frequently compare my teaching with others’ 44.5%
  19. 19. “In what ways, if any, has using OpenStax College textbooks impacted on your own teaching practice?”
  20. 20. “In what ways, if any, has using OpenStax College textbooks impacted on your students?” “…Open Stax has provided an opportunity for all of my students to have a textbook.” “Overall savings of $100,000 per year.”
  21. 21. Evidence or experiences to support perceived impact of OpenStax College textbooks “I have had students say that the portability of the information has been of great help to them, giving them far more flexibility.”
  22. 22. Based on your experiences as a teacher, to what extent do you agree with the following statements? % of educators who strongly agree or agree with the following statements: "Use of OpenStax College textbooks in the classroom...” Increases learners’ satisfaction with the learning experience (69.8%, n=30) Allows me to better accommodate diverse learners’ needs (61.4%, n=27) Develops learners’ increased independence and self-reliance (56.8%, n=25) Increases learners’ experimentation with new ways of learning (52.3%, n=23) Increases learners’ interest in the subjects taught (52.3%, n=23) Increases learners’ engagement with lesson content (50%, n=22) Leads to improved students’ grades (45.5%, n=20) Builds learners’ confidence (40.9%, n=18) Increases learners’ participation in class discussions (40%, n=18) Increases collaboration and/or peer-support among learners (38.6%, n=17) Leads to learners becoming interested in a wider range of subjects than before they used OER (38.6%, n=17) Increases learners’ enthusiasm for future study (34.1%, n=15) (OpenStax College Educator Survey 2014-5)
  23. 23. “As a result of using OpenStax College (OSC) textbooks, are you more or less likely to do any of the following?” 95.7% of educators who use OSC textbooks are more likely to recommend OpenStax College textbooks to fellow educators/teachers (n=44) 82.2% of respondents are more likely to discuss using OSC materials with their institution’s administrators (n=37) Nearly three quarters of respondents who use OSC textbooks are more likely to use other OER for teaching (73.9%, n=34)
  24. 24. Thanks for listening! Twitter: @OER_Hub @BeckPitt
  25. 25. Bibliography and Acknowledgements Allen, N Affordable Textbooks for Washington Students: An updated cost analysis of the Open Course Library (April 2013) Available from: (accessed: 8 May 2015) Hilton III, J. Gaudet, D. Clarke, P. Robinson, J. & Wiley, D. (2013) Available from: (accessed: 6 May 2015) Open Education Group’s list of peer reviewed studies on efficacy and perception of open textbooks/OER (The Review Project): De Los Arcos, B. Farrow, R. Perryman, L-A, Pitt, R & Weller, M OER Research Hub: OER Evidence Report 2013-2014. Available from: report-2013-2014/ (accessed 8 December 2014) UMUC (February 2014), E-resources project update Available from: (accessed 8 May 2015) Creative Commons logo:
  26. 26. in service of The Open University