Most of the energy behind OER - and free and low-cost student materials in general - comes from the high cost of textbooks.

But do you know just how expensive textbooks really are? Here's a little context:

As can be seen in the chart below, there has been a disproportionate rise in college textbook prices over the last decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Image result for college textbook prices chart

Not convinced? Check out the chart from TextbookSpyder.com for comparisons to other expensive things we need...like housing...since the late 1970's.

textbook prices over 40 years

This trend in prices has led to reduced book purchases as well as declines in registration and increases in leaving courses, according to a student survey done by Florida Virtual Campus in 2014 and repeated again in 2016.

 Cost of not using Open Textbooks Slide: CC-BY Cable Green.

Benefit for Students

Benefit for Faculty

  • Ownership of discipline knowledge
  • Real time customization of content
  • Freedom to focus student learning
  • Better alignment with SLOs
  • Increased richness and variety in auxiliary content
  • Showcases research to widest possible audience
  • Social justice - accessible education for all

The Open Educational Group also conducts empirical research on the impact of OER adoption. You can also check out the interactive tool called OER Adoption Impact Explorer, from Lumen Learning, to explore some of the ways OER can have an impact on your campus.

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