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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Faculty Not Sold on OER

The news is full of reports about digital learning and open educational resources (OER), and yet faculty members don’t seem to be on board. Nearly a quarter of faculty members responding to a new survey said digital will never be used in their classes and 27% said if it did happen it wouldn’t be for another couple of years, according to a report in Campus Technology.

When it comes to OER, 75% said they either never heard of them or know little about them. Another 10% said they have reviewed OER content and decided against using it.

The survey, conducted for the Independent College Bookstore Association, also found that 97% of faculty members said they consider their own assessment of course materials as either important or very important, with 86% specifying cost of the material as important. However, just 36% said course materials in digital format were important.

Most faculty members (79%) said they believed digital content “generally costs less,” but just 44% said they thought students preferred it. Fewer than 30% said digital could have a “beneficial impact” on learning when compared to print.

“While the transition from print to digital course materials may be inevitable, these new survey data make two things clear: First is that the pace of this change is much slower than anticipated by publishers, administrators, and campus IT professionals,” Kenneth Green, head of the Campus Computing Project, said in his report Going Digital: Faculty Perspectives on Digital and OER Course Materials. “And, second, most faculty are not convinced that digital products have a positive impact on student learning outcomes.”

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