Resource of the Month

What does the research tell us about the efficacy of OER: A Webcast Roundup

On May 5th, we hosted Dr. John Hilton III for a webcast to summarize the increasing body of research on the efficacy of OER. The most interesting takeaway messages included:

  1. If use of Open Educational Resources (OER) is to become mainstream we need raise awareness of OER. The Babson report (2014) noted that many educators have still not heard about OER.

  2. John focused on peer reviewed papers that show the efficacy and perceptions of OER: you can check out the Open Education Group’s Review project () to see the full list with links to the 16 papers.

  3. Approximately 85% of educators using OER as their primary teaching resource thought the quality of OER was the same or better than proprietary resources.

  4. No studies to date have resulted in students performing worse. Most show test scores remaining consistent (as in the case of the ChemWiki example) with a couple of studies showing an improvement.

  5. In the KOCI study, the two most common benefits of OER perceived by students were cost and access, and the two most common drawbacks were technical issues and quality.

  6. We need more research into the efficacy of OER. Evidence that the learning outcomes in courses taught with OER are as good or, in some cases, better than those taught with proprietary materials is a critical point when advocating for OER adoption.

The full webcast can be found embedded below or here.

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