Hilton III, J. L., Guadet, D., Clark, P., Robinson, J., & Wiley, D. (2013). The adoption of Open Educational Resources by One Community College Math Department. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14(4), 37-50.


This study reports on one community college’s adoption of open educational resources (OER) across five different math classes. 2,043 students had access to OER during Fall Semester 2012. Surveys based on Bliss, et al. (2013) were administered to faculty and students during class time.

The study pursued three research questions: (1) How much money did students save because of the use of open textbooks? (2) Did the patterns of retention and student success change after OER was implemented? (3) How did students and faculty perceive OER quality, compared to other materials? The researchers also compared the previous two years’ retention rates as well as the number of students who passed their courses (C grade or better).

Findings suggest that there was little to no change in educational outcomes after switching to OER and that students saved a considerable amount of money. Both students and faculty held favorable perceptions of the materials. That said, questions about textbook quality are going to be rooted in understandings of what textbooks typically are and how they are expected to function. Hence the disagreement among faculty respondents about perceived quality.


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