Hilton III, J. L., Lutz, N., & Wiley, D. (2012). Examining the reuse of open textbooks. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(2), 45-58.


Prior research has found rates of revision and remixing to be relatively low among faculty using open educational resources (OER). To test this trend, the researchers study the revision and remixing practices of faculty who have adopted Flat World Knowledge FWK textbooks.

To examine the extent to which teachers reused, revised, and remixed FWK texts, the researchers assumed a multistep approach: matching corresponding course sections based on customized and original open texts, eliminating custom texts with no match, and pairing shared text for analysis.

Overall, they found that only 7.5% of textbooks had been customized. A strong relationship existed between user customization and the simplicity by which one was able to customize. FTW texts, as a particular brand of OER, have their own unique limitations to customizing content. This study could valuably be applied to other OER ecosystems for greater understanding of the findings.

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