This study was developed in response to the lack of empirical research on Open Educational Resources (OER). Collecting data from eight community colleges that participated in Project Kaleidoscope (PK)–an initiative supporting faculty adoption of ready-made OER–teachers and students were surveyed about cost, outcomes, uses, and perceptions (COUP) associated with OER use.
Over 80 community college teachers who used PK texts in their Winter 2012 courses were asked to complete an online questionnaire regarding COUP. All instructors were then provided links to administer surveys to their students. 490 students from all eight PK institutions participated. This self-selected survey approach is naturally the weakness of this study.
Faculty and student perceptions of cost for traditional and open textbooks were aligned. In terms of outcomes, teacher preparation time was consistent between textbook types, the majority of teachers adjusted their pedagogy to fit the digital media of open texts, student preparedness was consistent between textbook types, and few students found that OER impeded their learning. No meaningful increase in student use of texts was indicated by faculty or students. And generally all respondents percieved their OER to be quality resources.