Idealism vs. Pragmatism and the identity crisis of OER advocacy #oeglobal
Pragmatism vs. Idealism
The identity crisis of OER advocacy
Rajiv Jhangiani, Ph.D.
Open Studies Teaching Fellow & Psychology Instructor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Senior Open Education Advocacy & Research Fellow, BCcampus
Faculty Workshop Facilitator, Open Textbook Network
OER Adoption Estimates
(US Higher Ed)
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
% of Faculty
% of Courses
66.5% Not purchase the required textbook
47.6% Take fewer courses
45.5% Not register for a specific course
37.6% Earn a poor grade
26.1% Drop a course
19.8% Fail a course
Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 student textbook and course materials survey. Tallahassee, FL: Author.
Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2014). Opening the curriculum: Open educational resources in U.S. higher education.
“If cost savings were the only goal, then OERs are
not the only answer. Materialscould be made free,
or subsidized, which are not openly licensed.
The intention behind the OER approach is that it
has other benefitsalso, in that educatorsadapt
their material, and it is also an efficientway to
achieve the goal of cost savings, because others
will adapt the materialwith the intention of
improving its quality, relevanceor currency.
If open educational practices
are a game changer, why are
OER advocates playing by
the rules of the commercial
Textbook Costs and
What price-driven decisions are costing students
Improving Access, Affordability, and Achievement with Digital Delivery
Shifting to digital delivery of course materials can help students avoid these opportunity costs by
providing digital, day-one access to required course materials to every student at a more affordable price.
Learn more at PearsonEd.com/digital-delivery.
Feldstein, A., Martin, M., Hudson, A., Warren, K., Hilton III, J., & Wiley, D. (2012).
Open textbooks and increased student access and outcomes. European Journal
of Open, Distance and E-Learning.
Paulsen, M. B., & St John, E. P. (2002). Social class and college costs: Examining
the financial nexus between college choice and persistence. The Journal of Higher
Education, 73(2), 189–236.
Research has shown a positive correlation between access to course
materials and completion rates and grades.1–5
And yet, one survey of
more than 22,000 college students found, as many as
As the survey uncovered, the decisions students make in light of the
price of textbooks may cost them opportunity in the long run.6
of students opt out of buying required
course materials for the first day of class.64%
of students 1
for a course
“Fundamentally, I don’t want to be
part of a movement that is focused
on replacing static, over-priced
textbooks with static, free textbooks
Trust vs. Mistrust
Autonomy vs. Shame
Initiative vs. Guilt
Industry vs. Inferiority
Identity vs. Role Confusion
Intimacy vs. Isolation
Generativity vs. Stagnation
Integrity vs. Despair