Hilton III, J. L., Robinson, T. J., Wiley, D., & Ackerman, J. D. (2014). Cost-savings achieved in two semesters through the adoption of open educational resources. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 15(2).


This study examined the cost savings benefits brought to community college students by way of faculty participation in the Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative (KOCI). This initiative supports faculty adoption of open textbooks under the hope that doing so will grant students broader access to educational materials and, as a result, greater student success. Additionally, improvements to course design as well as learning community collaboration and investment are all prerogatives of KOCI.

According to the study, the 1727 students enrolled in KOCI classes saved a collective $104,253.57. This study cites the reality that students commonly refuse to buy textbooks when facing financial difficulties, especially when textbooks (an inevitably optional expense) can account for up to 59% of the total cost of attending community college.

This study does much to prove the financial benefits afforded to students through adopting OER textbooks; there is still a limited understanding of other student benefits (e.g. efficacy of using OER over traditional texts).


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