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Open Educational Resources

Majority of UMBC Students Respond Positively to OER

A recent student survey on the use of open educational resources at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County garnered positive responses from the majority of respondents, who reported engaging with the low- or zero-cost digital course materials and homework tools. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said the quality of the OER materials used in their courses was equivalent to or higher than traditional textbooks. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would recommend an OER course to others, and 45 percent said they would be likely to enroll in another OER course themselves.

The survey polled 551 UMBC students taking courses in which instructors replaced traditional print textbooks with OER materials and provided supplemental digital homework tools.

Other findings include:

  • Students said they would use the money saved by using OER toward paying tuition or other fees (cited by 64 percent of respondents), covering personal expenses (55 percent), buying course materials for other classes (46 percent) or taking an additional course (19 percent).
  • Some students experienced challenges with the materials' relevance to course content, impact on learning style, inability to annotate online content or other downsides to OER use.
  • 61 percent of students said they typically spend between $51 and $150 per semester on course materials.
  • 55 percent said they usually purchase online or digital textbooks.

For more information, visit the UMBC site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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