CCCOER: Research Review of Faculty and Student OER Usage


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Increasing textbooks costs, coupled with general rising costs of education have begun motivating faculty and their colleges to explore the use of open educational resources. At the same time, recent studies have shown that a majority of faculty and administrators are largely unaware of the quantity and quality of free and open educational resources. This webinar will feature two experienced researchers sharing recent findings from a wide variety of higher education and secondary education OER pilot studies. In addition, they will address best practices for conducting OER research on your campuses to expand usage and understand the benefits and challenges from faculty and student perspectives.

Please join the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) for this free, open webinar on:

Date: Wednesday, February 11
Time: 10 am PST; 11:00 am MT; 1:00 pm EST

Featured speakers:

Boyoung Chae, Policy Associate, eLearning and Open Education, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges released a report last month on use of open educational resources based on interviews with 60 faculty in Washington’s community and technical college system which was built upon a previous state-wide survey with 770 faculty. Faculty were queried about (1) how and why they chose to use OER (2) six benefits including student savings (3) six challenges of using OER (4) nine supports from college and statewide stakeholders that could help them to expand their OER use.

John Hilton III, Assistant Professor of Ancient Scripture, OER Researcher, Brigham Young University.

This presentation synthesizes the results of eight different peer-reviewed studies that examine (1) the perceptions students and instructors of OER that replaced traditional textbooks (2) the potential influence of OER on student learning outcomes, and (3) the cost-savings resulting from OER. Suggested paths forward to expand the pool of academic peer reviewed research on (1) the perceptions students and instructors have of OER, (2) the potential influence of OER on student learning outcomes, and (3) the cost-savings resulting from OER will also be shared.

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CCCOER: Research Review of Faculty and Student OER Usage

  1. 1. A Review of OER Research Conducted with Faculty & Students Boyoung Chae Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges John Hilton III Open Education Group Brigham Young University Feb 11, 2015, 10:00 am PST Unless otherwise indicated, this presentation is licensed CC-BY 4.0
  2. 2. Collaborate Window Overview Audio&&&Video& Par-cipants& Chat& Tech Support available at: 1-760-744-1150 ext. 1537, 1554
  3. 3. Agenda •  Introductions •  CCCOER Overview •  Open Education Week Mar 9-15 •  OEC Global Conference •  Faculty OER Usage in Washington SBCTC •  A Review of OER Perceptions & Efficacy •  Q & A
  4. 4. Welcome Please introduce yourself in the chat window Boyoung Chae, PhD eLearning & Open Ed Policy Associate Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges John Hilton III, PhD Assistant Professor Brigham Young University OER Researcher, Open Ed Group Moderator: Una Daly Director of Curriculum Design & College Outreach Open Education Consortium
  5. 5. •  Expand access to high- quality materials •  Support faculty choice and development •  Improve student success Community College Consortium for OER (CCCOER) Come In, We're Open gary simmons cc-by-nc-sa flickr
  6. 6. 250+ Colleges in 19 States & Provinces
  7. 7. OEC Global 2015 The theme for Open Education Global 2015 is Entrepreneurship and Innovation, emphasizing the exciting directions and developments in open education around the world. Organized by OEC and Athabascus University. Where: Alberta, Canada When: 22-24 April, 2015
  8. 8. OER Research Review •  Impact on Teaching Practice •  Efficacy for Student Learning •  Growing Adoption of OER … •  Why and How to Conduct More Research
  9. 9. Qualitative Review of Faculty OER Usage Boyoung Chae, PhD Policy Associate eLearning and Open Education
  10. 10. A&Qualita-ve&Inves-ga-on&of&Faculty& Open&Educa-onal&Resource&Usage&in&& the&Washington&Community&and&& Technical&College&System:&Models&for&& Support&and&Implementa-on& Boyoung&Chae,&Ph.D.&&&Mark&Jenkins,&Ph.D.& Washington&State&Board&for&Community&and&Technical&Colleges&
  11. 11. Purpose&of&the&Study& •  To&inves-gate&community&and&technical&college& faculty’s&OER&usage&and&support&needs.& –  How&do&community&and&technical&college&faculty& members&use&OER?& –  What&are&the&benefits&and&challenges&faculty& experienced&in&implemen-ng&OER?&& –  What&types&of&support&do&faculty&require&to&make&OER& more&usable&and&significant&in&their&teaching&prac-ce?&
  12. 12. Methodology& •  Employed&a&qualita-ve&interview&study&design.& •  Preceded&by&a&stateUwide&survey&with&770&faculty& members.& •  Conducted&the&followUup&phone&interviews&with& the&survey&par-cipants.& •  Used&a&criterion&sampling&method:&Par-cipants& are&faculty&members&who&teach&regular&quarterU based&classes&in&the&Washington&state& community&or&technical&college.&
  13. 13. Finding&1:&Faculty’s&Use&of&Open& Educa-onal&Resources& •  Spectrum&of&using&OER& – Supplementary,use& •  Supplemen-ng&the&course&with&OER& uninten-onally.& •  Supplemen-ng&the&course&with&OER&inten-onally.& & – Primary,use& •  Using&the&open&textbook&as&a&replacement&for& commercial&textbooks.& •  Using&the&open&course&materials.&Complete& disassocia-on&from&the&format&of&the&textbook& &
  14. 14. Finding&1:&Faculty’s&Use&of&Open& Educa-onal&Resources& •  Mo-va-on&(1).& – Faculty’s,belief,in,more,accessible,educa7on., •  Many&faculty&expressed&their&strong&belief&in& making&educa-on&more&accessible.& •  Implemen-ng&alterna-ves&to&commercial& textbooks&has&been&their&longUterm&prac-ce.&
  15. 15. Finding&1:&Faculty’s&Use&of&Open& Educa-onal&Resources& •  Mo-va-on&(2).& – Faculty’s,pursuit,in,pedagogical,freedom, •  OER&appealed&to&them&because&of&their&fluid& and&flexible&nature.& •  To&the&ques-on&of&what&OER&meant&to&them,& faculty&men-oned&the&words&“freedom”&and& “libera-on.”&&
  16. 16. Finding&2:&Benefits&in&Using&OER& Benefits&faculty& experienced& Saving& Students&& Money& Enhanced& Instruc-onal& Responsiveness& Evolving& content& Ac-ve&student& involvement& Increased& Collabora-on& More&Diverse& course& content& Increased& Reflec-on&on& Teaching& Prac-ce& Convenience& of&Use&
  17. 17. Finding&2:&Benefits&in&Using&OER& •  Saving&students&money& – Students&expressed&gra-tude&and&sa-sfac-on&to& the&fact&that&they&do&not&have&to&purchase& commercial&textbooks.& – The&faculty’s&a_tudes&concerning&students’& financial&wellUbeing&helped&them&build&a& connec-on&with&their&students.&
  18. 18. Finding&2:&Benefits&in&Using&OER& •  Enhanced&instruc-onal&responsiveness& – Evolving&content& – Ac-ve&student&involvement&
  19. 19. Finding&2:&Benefits&in&Using&OER& •  More&diverse&course&content& – OER,helped,faculty,implement,various,learning, materials,from,some,of,the,best,educa7onal, resources,., – Being,able,to,access,these,resources,enhanced, students’,learning,experience.&
  20. 20. Finding&2:&Benefits&in&Using&OER& •  Increased&reflec-on&on&teaching&prac-ce& – OER,helped,faculty,reflect,on,their,current,teaching, prac7ces,and,encouraged,them,to,try,different, teaching,style.,
  21. 21. Finding&2:&Benefits&in&Using&OER& •  Convenience&of&use& – With,the,adop7on,of,OER,,faculty,no,longer, experienced,a,range,of,inconveniences,associated, with,commercial,textbooks.,
  22. 22. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& Challenges&faculty& experienced& Lack&of&-me& Uninvi-ng& climate& Lack&of& technology& and&skills& Feeling&of& uncertainty& Difficulty&in& wading& through& Differences&in& course& specificaitons&
  23. 23. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& •  Lack&of&-me& – The,most,frequently,men7oned,challenge,, consistent,through,faculty,at,all,levels,of,OER,use.,, – Faculty,used,their,sabba7cal,years,to,restructure, the,course., – Adjunct,faculty,did,not,receive,any,relief,7me,or, sabba7cal,leave,to,work,on,OER,implementa7on.,,
  24. 24. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& •  Uninvi-ng&climate& – Faculty,concerned,that,their,OER,implementa7on, would,not,be,welcomed,in,their,department., – This,was,mostly,stated,by,adjunct,faculty,,who, were,not,par7cipants,in,their,department’s, textbook,selec7on,process.,
  25. 25. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& •  Lack&of&technology&and&skills& – Students,struggled,with,technology,issues,with, OER., – Returning,adults,experience,discomfort,with,OER’s, technological,requirements.,,
  26. 26. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& •  Feeling&of&uncertainty& – OER,requires,a,paradigm,shiK,in,the,rela7onships, of,the,knowledge,consumer,and,creator, – Both,faculty,and,students,experienced,anxiety, with,the,increased,flexibility,and,fluidity,of,OER, based,class.,
  27. 27. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& •  Difficulty&in&wading&through&the&informa-on& – Faculty,experience,some,ini7al,difficul7es,with,in, wading,through,the,available,OER.,
  28. 28. Finding&3:&Challenges&of&Using&OER& •  Differences&in&course&specifica-ons.& – Faculty,expressed,difficulty,in,finding,the,relevant, OER,that,exactly,meets,their,needs,and, expecta7ons., – Faculty,prefer,to,develop,their,own,materials, using,various,OER,,instead,of,adop7ng,an,en7re, course,package.,,,
  29. 29. Finding&4:&Support&Needed&
  30. 30. Finding&4:&Support&Needed& •  Climate& – Endorsement,from,the,college,and,the, department., – Clear,policies,around,the,use,of,OER.,
  31. 31. Finding&4:&Support&Needed& •  Professional&Development& – Training,in,OER., – Easy,and,organized,pathways,to,access,OER., – Local,support,system,with,local,experts.,
  32. 32. Finding&4:&Support&Needed& •  Partnership& – Department,level,func7ons., – Intracampus,partnership., •  Incen-ves& – Funding,opportuni7es.,
  33. 33. Recommenda-ons& •  Recommenda-on&for&the&Policy&Makers& – Policies&on&copyright&ownership,&& – Policies&on&individual&faculty’s&use&of&OER,&and&& – Policies&on&the&registra-on&system.& •  Recommenda-on&for&College&Administrators.& •  Recommenda-on&for&Researchers.&
  34. 34. Contact& •  Full&report&is&available&at& hfp:// •  Contact&authors&with&any&ques-ons:& Boyoung&Chae&( Mark&Jenkins&(
  35. 35. A Review of OER Perception & Efficacy John Hilton III Assistant Professor OER Researcher at Open Ed Group
  36. 36. A Review of Research on the Perceptions and Efficacy of OER (and a call for more!) John Hilton III Open Education Group
  37. 37. Problem ! A recent nationally representative survey of 2,144 faculty members in the United States found that “most faculty remain unaware of OER.” !  Source: Babson 2014 Survey, “Opening the Curriculum.”
  38. 38. Possible Solutions ! Increasing efforts to “market” OER. ! Increasing number of outstanding OER material. ! Increasing the number of academic, peer- reviewed studies regarding the efficacy and teacher and student perceptions of OER materials.
  39. 39. Increasing the number of academic, peer- reviewed studies regarding the efficacy and teacher and student perceptions of OER materials. ! The Babson 2014 survey found that college professors rate “proven efficacy” and “trusted quality” as the number 1 and number 2 most important criteria for selecting teaching resources.
  40. 40. Published Efficacy and Perception Studies 1.  Article focused on efficacy or perception in actual practice (not simply theory). 2.  The resource(s) examined in the study needed to be OER that were the primary learning resource(s) used in the class. 3.  In order to be selected for inclusion in this study, the research needed to have been published by a peer- reviewed journal, or be an institutional research report. Blog posts and conference proceedings were excluded from this data set.
  41. 41. Efficacy and Perception Studies 1.  Lovett et al. (2008) measured the result of an implementation an online, OER component of Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI). Over two semesters, forty-four students utilized the OER as part of this study. Researchers examined test scores (three midterm and one final exam) of those students who took the traditional course versus those who utilized the OER materials. They found that no significant difference between the two groups.
  42. 42. Efficacy and Perception Studies 2.  Petrides et al. (2011), utilized surveys of instructors and students who utilized an open statistics textbook called Collaborative Statistics. In total, 31instructors and 45 students participated in oral interviews or focus groups that explored their perceptions of the OER which they had utilized. They found that “Cost reduction for students was the most significant factor influencing faculty adoption of open textbooks” (p. 43), partly because it increased student access. 65% of students on the survey reported a preference for using open textbooks in the future because they are generally easier to use.
  43. 43. Efficacy and Perception Studies 3.  Bowen et al. (2012) compared the use of a traditional statistics textbook with Carnegie Mellon’s OLI at six different institutions. Participating students were randomly assigned to either the face-to-face class with a traditional textbook, or a “hybrid” class that used the OER resource. Both groups took the same standardized test at the beginning and end of the semester, as well as a final examination. 605 students took the OER version of the course, while 2,439 took the traditional version. Students who utilized OER performed slightly better on the standardized exam than those who did not. However the difference in outcomes was marginal and not statistically significant.
  44. 44. Efficacy and Perception Studies 4.  Hilton and Laman (2012), focus on introductory Psychology courses taught at Houston Community College (HCC). In the fall of 2011, twenty-three sections composed of 690 students used an open psychology textbook. The textbook was available for free online, and digital supplements produced by faculty were also freely to HCC students. The introduction of an open textbook was correlated with the increase in class grade point average, an increase of the average score on the departmental final examination and a lower course withdrawal rate. No causation was claimed.
  45. 45. Efficacy and Perception Studies 4.  (Cont.) One hundred and fifty-seven students completed surveys regarding their perceptions of the OER. 84% of students surveyed agreed with the statement that “Having a free online book helps me go to college.”
  46. 46. Efficacy and Perception Studies 5.  Wiley et al. (2012) examined the standardized test scores of students using the open textbooks in secondary science classes in three different school districts. Approximately 1,200 students used open textbooks during this study. Researchers examined their end-of-year standardized test results and found no apparent differences between the results of students who used traditional and open textbooks.
  47. 47. Efficacy and Perception Studies 6.  Research by Feldstein et al. (2012) took place at Virginia State University. OER were implemented across nine different courses in the business department. 1,393 students took courses utilizing OER. Researchers found that students in courses that used OER more frequently had better grades and lower failure and withdrawal rates than their counterparts in courses that did not use OER. While their results had statistical significance, because of a new core curriculum employed at Virginia State University’s Business school, the two sets of courses were not identical. Thus while these data provide interesting correlations, they cannot establish causality.
  48. 48. Efficacy and Perception Studies 6.  (Cont.) Three hundred and fifteen students completed a survey regarding their perspective on the shift to the OER, and Almost 95% of responding students strongly agreed or agreed that the OER were “easy to use” and 78% of respondents felt that the OER “provided access to more up-to-date material that is available in my print textbooks.” Approximately two-thirds of students strongly agreed or agreed that the digital OER were more useful than traditional textbooks and that they preferred the OER digital content to traditional textbooks.
  49. 49. Efficacy and Perception Studies 7.  Bliss et al. (2013), studied OER adoption at eight different institutions of higher education. Fifty-eight teachers and 490 students across the eight colleges completed surveys regarding their experiences in utilizing OER. Approximately 50% of students said that the OER materials had the same quality as traditional textbooks and nearly 40% said that they were better. Students focused on several benefits of the open textbooks. Many cited technical advantages of the digital texts. In addition, the free cost of their open texts seemed critical to many students. 55% of teachers reported that the open material were of the same quality as the materials that had previously been used, and 35% felt that they were better.
  50. 50. Efficacy and Perception Studies 8.  Lindshield and Adhikari (2013) studied the perceptions of students who utilized a digital OER textbook in a Human Nutrition class. One hundred and ninety-eight students completed a survey in which they shared their perceptions of the OER text. “Students favorably rated their level of satisfaction, liking the idea of the [digital OER], ease of [digital OER] use, not having to buy a textbook, and preferring the [digital OER] versus buying a textbook for the course.” Moreover they found that students disagreed or somewhat disagreed with statements to the effect that they would like to have a traditional textbook in addition to the OER.
  51. 51. Efficacy and Perception Studies 9.  Pawlyshyn et al. report on the adoption of OER at Mercy College. In the fall of 2012, 695 students utilized OER in Mercy’s basic math course, and their pass rates were compared with those of the fall of 2011, in which no OER were utilized. Researchers found that the pass rates increased from 63.6% in fall 2011 (when traditional learning materials were employed) to 68.9% in fall 2012 when all courses were taught with OER. Similarly, students who were enrolled in OER versions of a reading course performed better than their peers who enrolled in the same course using non-OER materials.
  52. 52. Efficacy and Perception Studies 10. Hilton et al. (2013) chronicles a study that took place at Scottsdale Community College (SCC). In the fall of 2012, OER were employed throughout five different math courses at SCC, affecting 1,400 students. Issues with the initial placement tests made it so only four of the courses could be compared; nevertheless, the results of Fall 2012 (when OER was used) compared to Fall 2011 and 2010 showed that student results on department exams were approximately the same before and after the OER implementation.
  53. 53. Efficacy and Perception Studies 10. (Cont.) Surveys were completed by 910 students and eighteen faculty members at SCC who reported on their view of the OER. The majority of students (78%) said they would recommend the OER to their classmates. Similarly, 83% of students agreed with the statement that “Overall, the materials adequately supported the work I did outside of class” (only 5% of students disagreed with this statement). Faculty members were likewise positive about the open materials. 50% said that it was of the same quality as traditional textbooks, 33% said it was better, and 17% said it was worse.
  54. 54. Efficacy and Perception Studies 11. Robinson et al. (2014) examines the use of open science textbooks in three secondary science subjects across several schools in a suburban school district. This rigorous study used propensity score matched groups in order to control for teacher effect, socioeconomic status, and eight other potentially confounding variables. There were 1,274 students in each condition, treatment and control. In examining the results of the end-of-year state standardized test there were small, but statistically significant difference between the two groups, favoring those who utilized OER.
  55. 55. Efficacy and Perception Studies 12. Allen and Seaman in their Babson Survey (2014) surveyed 2,144 college professors regarding their opinions on OER. Of the 34% (729) who expressed awareness of OER, 61.5% of respondents said that OER materials had about the same “trusted quality” as traditional resources, 26.3% said that traditional resources were superior, 12.1% said that OER were superior. 68.2% said that the “proven efficacy” were about the same 16.5% said that OER had superior efficacy and 15.3% said that traditional resources had superior efficacy.
  56. 56. Synthesizing ! In terms of student and teacher perspective of OER, there were 2,115 students and 836 faculty members whose perceptions were surveyed across the seven studies pertaining to perceptions of OER. In no instance did a majority of students or teachers report that the OER were of inferior quality. Across multiple studies in various settings, students consistently reported that they faced financial difficulties and that OER provided a financial benefit to them. A general finding seems to be that roughly half of teachers and students find OER to be comparable to traditional resources, a sizeable minority believe they are superior, and a smaller minority find them to be inferior.
  57. 57. Synthesizing ! 7,301 students were reported to have utilized OER materials across the eight studies that attempted to measure results pertaining to student efficacy. While causality was not claimed by any researcher, the use of OER was sometimes correlated with higher test scores, lower failure and/or withdrawal rates. None of the eight studies that measured efficacy had results in which students who utilized OER performed worse than their peers who used traditional textbooks.
  58. 58. Synthesizing ! While some may be disappointed that OER materials have not been found to significantly increase student learning outcomes, this “non-finding” is nevertheless very important. ! Given that (1) students and teachers generally find OER to be as good or better as traditional textbooks, (2) students do not perform worse when utilizing OER, students, parents and taxpayers stand to save literally billions of dollars without any negative impact on learning through the adoption of OER.
  59. 59. Two Requests 1.  If you are aware of a peer-reviewed efficacy or perceptions study that I have not mentioned, will you please let me know? 2.  Will you initiate research studies focused on perceptions and efficacy of OER? Scholarly articles in this arena will increase awareness and adoption of OER. If you would like help in designing or implementing such studies, my colleagues at the Open Education Group are happy to assist.
  60. 60. Publishing is not that hard! 1.  International Review of Research on Open and Distance Learning 2.  Journal of Interactive Media in Education 3.  Open Praxis 4.  Subject-specific disciples (e.g., Science Education, Math Education, etc.)
  61. 61. Online Summary: John Hilton III Open Education Group
  62. 62. References !  Allen, I., Seaman, J. (2014). Opening the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014. Report available at: http:// !  Bliss, T., Robinson, T. J., Hilton, J., & Wiley, D. (2013). An OER COUP: College teacher and student perceptions of Open Educational Resources. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 1–25. Retrieved from !  Bowen, W. G., Chingos, M. M., Lack, K. A., & Nygren, T. I. (2012). Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials. Ithaka S +R. Retrieved from !  Feldstein, A., Martin, M., Hudson, A., Warren, K., Hilton, J., & Wiley, D. (2012). Open textbooks and increased student access and outcomes. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Retrieved from !  Hilton, J., Gaudet, D., Clark, P., Robinson, J., & Wiley, D. (2013). The adoption of open educational resources by one community college math department. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(4), 37–50. !  Hilton, J., & Laman, C. (2012). One college’s use of an open psychology textbook. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 27(3), 201– 217. Retrieved from !  Lindshield, B., & Adhikari, K. (2013). Online and campus college students like using an open educational resource instead of a traditional textbook. Journal of Online Learning & Teaching, 9(1), 1–7. Retrieved from !  Lovett, M., Meyer, O., & Thille, C. (2008). JIME-The open learning initiative: Measuring the effectiveness of the OLI statistics course in accelerating student learning. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2008(1). !  Pawlyshyn, Braddlee, Casper and Miller (2013). Adopting OER: A Case Study of Cross-Institutional Collaboration and Innovation. Educause Review, http:// !  Petrides, L., Jimes, C., Middleton Detzner, C., Walling, J., & Weiss, S. (2011). Open textbook adoption and use: Implications for teachers and learners. Open learning, 26(1), 39-49. !  Robinson T. J., Fischer, L., Wiley, D. A., & Hilton, J. (2014). The impact of open textbooks on secondary science learning outcomes. Educational Researcher, 43(7): 341-351. !  Wiley, D., Hilton, J. Ellington, S., and Hall, T. (2012). “A preliminary examination of the cost savings and learning impacts of using open textbooks in middle and high school science classes.” International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 13 (3), pp. 261-276.
  63. 63. March 11, 10:00 am PST The Zero-Textbook Degree See you at our next webinar! Speakers include TJ Bliss, Education Program Officer at the Hewlett Foundation Staff from NOVA and TideWater Colleges in Virginia
  64. 64. Thank you for coming! Contact Info: Boyoung Chae: John Hilton: Una Daly: Questions?