Bliss, T., Hilton, 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).

Over 125 students and 11 faculty from seven community colleges responded to an online questionnaire about the cost and quality of the open textbooks they used in their classrooms. The schools that participated in the study all participated in Project Kaleidoscope (PK), an initiative that uniquely supported the institutional adoption of ready-made OER, instead of encouraging the creation of new resources.

The instructor survey asked for demographic information about instructors, course details, student use of previous semesters’ texts, student preparedness, text quality, student feedback about texts, and the likelihood of continued OER use. Student survey questions asked for demographic information, academic history, typical textbook spending, average credit load, general textbook use, course-specific use, and perceptions of quality.

The majority of faculty and students indicated a positive experience using OER, an appreciation of the lower costs, and a perception of the texts as “high quality.” It should be noted that the term “quality” was not explicitly defined and was left to the individual interpretations of respondents. Also, the survey seems like it cast a fairly large net regarding data, which is valuable in provoking future research but makes current observations seem incomplete or surface level.