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Open Access Week 2014: Open Textbook Research Overview


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This slide deck was presented by Beck Pitt at an Open University (UK) Library Services Open Access Week 2014 event on 22 October 2014.

The presentation focuses on research conducted Fall/Winter 2014 with OpenStax College.

Published in: Education
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Open Access Week 2014: Open Textbook Research Overview

  1. 1. Open Access Week 2014 Open Textbook Research: Overview Dr. Beck Pitt The Open University
  2. 2. Overview • Background: OER Research Hub project • Open Textbook Overview: USA and OpenStax College • Methodology • Educator Survey (Sample) • OpenStax College Textbooks: Impact • Educator Perspectives • Summary and Next Steps #oerrhub @OER_Hub
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. OER Research Hub • 2-year research open research project based in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) • Funded by William & Flora Hewlett Foundation • Aiming to build the most comprehensive picture of OER impact • Eleven research hypotheses • Open collaboration model across different educational sectors • Global reach but with a USA focus • Open and Linked Fellowship Schemes #oerrhub @OER_Hub
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. Open Textbook Overview: USA and OpenStax College
  7. 7. Open Textbook Overview • On average total textbook costs are around $1200 each year in the United States • In the United States “…Textbook wholesale prices have risen more than four times the rate of inflation over the last two decades (1990-2009)” (Student PIRGs research) • “…the textbooks actually cost more than the tuition for most students.” (Barbara Illowsky, author of Collaborative Statistics) • 63% of respondents to the 2012 Florida Student Textbook Survey “…reported not having purchased the required textbook because of the high cost…” Picture credit: Huffington Post ( prices-increase_n_2409153.html)
  8. 8. OpenStax College Overview Saved students over $30 million since June 2012 From 40 adoptions in 2012 to 1061 by 2014 1 million downloads of OpenStax materials Image and information from OpenStax College’s 2014 Progress Report: CC-BY First textbook published June 2012 9 open textbooks published to date iBooks available in 32 countries
  9. 9. Methodology
  10. 10. Overview: OpenStax College People use OER differently from other online materials OER adoption brings financial benefits for students/institutions OER improve student performance/satisfaction
  11. 11. Educator Survey: Sample
  12. 12. Educator Sample: OpenStax College • 77 Respondents in total (have used/use OSC textbooks) • 73.7% Male (n=56) and 26.3% Female (n=20) • Over 85% of respondents live in the United States (88.2%, n=67) • Over 55% of respondents work in a HE/University context (57.1%, n=44) • 76.6% of respondents do F/T face-to-face teaching (n=59) • Nearly 70% of respondents have been teaching for more than 10 years (67.1%, n=51) 90.9% of respondents told us they have adapted open educational resources to fit their needs (n=70) Finding resources of a sufficiently high quality was the top challenge most often faced by educators when using OER (65.3%, n=49)
  13. 13. OpenStax College Textbooks: Impact
  14. 14. “In what ways, if any, has using OpenStax College textbooks impacted on your own teaching practice?” “I have become more intentional about tailoring my course to my students, having been at least somewhat released from the constraints imposed by the commercial publishing industry” “I have always believed in using a lot of additional resources. OpenStax works nicely in this regard. The supplementals are not fancy but we have made additional testbanks and other free resources available to all our faculty in a collective approach to compile very nice additional resources.” “I am able to think a little more creatively of what new experiences I can design for my students using resources in the text or other online resources. I think the text is a great foundation, but I don’t feel constrained to shy away from employing other teaching tools for fear they might ask: “Well, if you were going to have us watch this video or do this online tutorial – why did we have to pay $250 for the textbook?” “I create more collections of images to build presentation, rather than going straight from the book.”
  15. 15. 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 Open Educational Resources (e.g. OpenStax College textbooks) in the classroom...” Allows me to better accommodate diverse learners’ needs (67.1%, n=49) Increases learners’ satisfaction with the learning experience (66.2%, n=49) Increases learners’ experimentation with new ways of learning (64.4%, n=47) Increases learners’ engagement with lesson content (61.6%, n=45) Develops learners’ increased independence and self-reliance (58.1%, n=43) Increases learners’ interest in the subjects taught (54.1%, n=40) Leads to improved students’ grades (50.7%, n=37) Increases learners’ participation in class discussions (47.3%, n=35) Increases learners’ enthusiasm for future study (47.3%, n=35) Builds learners’ confidence (45.8%, n=33) Increases collaboration and/or peer-support among learners (45.8%, n=33) Leads to learners becoming interested in a wider range of subjects than before they used OER (42.5%, n=31)
  16. 16. “In what ways, if any, has using OpenStax College textbooks impacted on your students?” “They are able to access the textbook and start doing homework immediately rather than being delayed until weeks after the start of the course due to lack of finances.” “Ease of use for students and parents. The 'note-taking" type of students can print pages, and when I find students have a specific difficulty I can even print a page to use in class. Faster students can read on devices at any time - they enjoy viewing the book from smartphones etc.” “They have the book as a resource after leaving class. With another text they would most likely sell it back. Also sharing content with others outside of class.” reading of the Increased portable “textbook, and a them e-textbooks, that can go with textbook other review. Unlike can stay for this one with them.” “…the students are sharing notes and annotations online.” “The resource gave them a sound understanding of the topic and they were able to do self-directed study from it. The result is that seniors have excelled in their exams.”
  17. 17. “In what ways, if any, has using OpenStax College textbooks impacted on your students?” “more student engagement in lab activities and lecture presentation” “Free and available online (while they work, or are at home) make OpenStax texts a great excuse-defying tool. In a positive light- students have access to the text wherever and whenever they need/want it.” “…Students love having multiple options for textbook format (epub, iBook, pdf, or hardcopy). Enrollment in my class has increased by 25% - can't say for sure it is due to the textbook, but it certainly has helped. …” “It saves all 800 students per year about $120. One student told me that she had to work 15 hours for each book that she has to buy. That really put it in perspective.” “Students seem somewhat more engaged.” “I think that it is highly beneficial to have a brand new text to use, I would have been forced through budgetary constraints to purchase other texts which old..” are 5-10 years
  18. 18. In what ways, if any, has using OpenStax College textbooks impacted on your studies? “Made learning easier and more accessible, helped and broadened my understanding and learning, made me WANT to study, helped me become interested in Biology because of the easy layout and presentation.” (High School Student) “Saved my back, I already have so many other books in my backpack and using my computer for more info saved additional stress that would have been on my back.” (College student) “Increased my Ap Biology grade dramatically.” (Earlier this High School respondent reported: “I went from being horrible in AP Biology to actually reading these and went from a D 66% up to a A 90% So far.”) “Open Stax textbooks offer me peace of mind and permit me to study in a more relaxed way. I am grateful not to have to come up with hundreds of dollars per class for books.” (Student studying without a teacher) “It has allowed for me to develop knowledge easily in areas that I thought would be difficult to learn in due to the inability to buy an in-depth textbook.” (High School Student)
  19. 19. Educator Perspectives
  20. 20. “As a result of using OpenStax College (OSC) textbooks, are you more or less likely to do any of the following?” 96.1% of educators who use OSC textbooks are more likely to recommend OpenStax College textbooks to fellow educators/teachers (n=73) 92% of respondents are more likely to make an OSC textbook the required text for their students (n=69) 80% of respondents are more likely to discuss using OSC materials with their institution’s administrators (n=60) Nearly 80% of respondents who use OSC textbooks are more likely to use other OER for teaching (79.5%, n=58)
  21. 21. Summary and Next Steps
  22. 22. Summary/Next Steps • Further analysis of OpenStax College and Siyavula data, e.g. comparison of adopters/users with non-users, public school respondents with private school respondents • BCcampus Educators Survey (Fall/Winter 2014/5) • Further comparisons between open textbook surveys • Case study work and further survey work: Fall 2014 • Open dissemination of data and findings via Impact Map (Open Textbook Research Week (June 2014) and OpenStax College Infographics) • Add your evidence to the Impact Map! Thanks for listening! …Any questions?
  23. 23. Thanks for listening! @BeckPitt
  24. 24. in service of The Open University