Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Faculty Awareness of OER Continues to Lag

The use of open educational resources (OER) is becoming more popular each year, but faculty still trail behind in awareness. Babson Survey Research Group reported in a new study that 25% of faculty are either aware or very aware of OER, up from 20% a year ago, but 58% remained unaware or didn’t know much about open content.

Another 17% of faculty said they were aware of OER but weren’t sure how to use them. More than 3,000 teaching faculty responded to the survey for the report Opening the Textbook: Education Resources in U.S. HigherEducation 2015-16.

The study found that instructors of large-enrollment, introductory-level classes adopted OER at twice the rate (10%) of other faculty members. Nearly 50% of the respondents said they felt there weren’t enough OER resources for the subject they taught and 45% cited the absence of comprehensive catalogs of the resources, but 30% said they would consider using OER in the future.

“There is potential for growth for OER, as many faculty report that they are willing to try these resources,” said Jeff Seaman, co-author of the report. “However, while faculty cite cost to the students more than any other factor in selecting educational materials, concerns about the time and effort it takes to find and evaluate these materials remain a significant barrier to wider adoption.”

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