The cost and quality of online open textbooks: Perceptions of community college faculty and students

  • TJ Bliss Brigham Young University
  • John Hilton III Brigham Young University
  • David Wiley Brigham Young University
  • Kim Thanos Thanos Partners, Inc.
Keywords: open educational resources (OER), higher education, textbook quality

Abstract

Proponents of open educational resources (OER) claim that significant cost savings are possible when open textbooks displace traditional textbooks in the college classroom. We investigated student and faculty perceptions of OER used in a community college context. Over 125 students and 11 faculty from seven colleges responded to an online questionnaire about the cost and quality of the open textbooks used in their classrooms. Results showed that the majority of students and faculty had a positive experience using the open textbooks, appreciated the lower costs, and perceived the texts as being of high quality. The potential implications for OER initiatives at the college level seem large. If primary instructional materials can in fact be made available to students at no or very low cost, without harming learning outcomes, there appears to be a significant opportunity for disruption and innovation in higher education.

Author Biographies

TJ Bliss, Brigham Young University
TJ Bliss is a PhD student in the Educational Inquiry, Measurement and Evaluation Program in the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University.
John Hilton III, Brigham Young University
John Hilton is an assistant professor of Ancient Scripture in the Department of Religious Education at Brigham Young University.
David Wiley, Brigham Young University
David Wiley is an associate professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology in the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University.
Kim Thanos, Thanos Partners, Inc.
Kim Thanos is founder and principal of Thanos Partners, Inc
Published
2013-01-04
How to Cite
Bliss, T., Hilton III, J., Wiley, D., & Thanos, K. (2013). The cost and quality of online open textbooks: Perceptions of community college faculty and students. First Monday, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v18i1.3972