"Open educational resources (OER) are any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research. The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes. OER typically refers to electronic resources, including those in multimedia formats, and such materials are generally released under a Creative Commons or similar license that supports open or nearly open use of the content. OER can originate from colleges and universities, libraries, archival organizations, government agencies, commercial organizations such as publishers, or faculty or other individuals who develop educational resources they are willing to share."
David Wiley in 2009 stated we measure the openness of content in terms of the rights a user of the content is granted. The 4Rs Framework describes the four most important rights:
1. Reuse – the right to reuse the content in its unaltered / verbatim form
2. Revise – The rights to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
3. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new
4. Redistribute – the right to make and share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others
In the fall of 2017, 845 students were surveyed in the Library Commons, the student classrooms, the cafeteria and other campuses in regard to the impact of textbook costs upon their education.
43% of the students or 360 did not purchase the required textbook
37% of the students or 309 took fewer classes which greatly impacts the college’s revenue stream.
20% or 169 did not register for a specific class, which delays their graduation.
24% or 200 did not purchase the required textbook and thus earned a poor grade
10% or 85 did not purchase the text book and dropped the class
7% or 60 failed a class which meant they may have to repeat the class
25% or 210 claimed no impact, but upon reading their comments it was emphasized that family, VA, work earnings paid for the textbooks but caused severe personal spending limitations
88% of the students or 677 responded that they would prioritize taking a class that provided a free online accessible textbook.
How are today's book costs affecting students?
For its report, Student PIRGs surveyed 5,000 students on campuses across the country to find out how they're dealing with the high cost of textbooks. The survey's key findings: