The use of open education resources (OER) could triple over the next five years, according to a new report from Cengage Learning, while use of OER as supplemental learning materials might quadruple over the same period.
Cengage surveyed more the 500 faculty members, industry experts, and OER adopters for the report, Open Educational Resources and the Evolving Higher Education Landscape. Of faculty not already using OER, 77% said they either expect to use it or would consider using it in the next three years.
The main problem for OER adoption continues to be a lack of understanding by educators. The study found the most significant barrier to OER is “faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it.” More than half of the respondents said the lack of a comprehensive catalog was an issue, while 42% cited challenges in finding what they needed as the biggest obstacle.
“If OER is to become truly mainstream, it will need to be integrated with personalized and adaptive learning technologies—including assessment and analytics—that help to improve student performance by mapping objectives to outcomes,” wrote the report’s authors. “Quality content can only go so far; it must be ‘wrapped’ in an instructionally designed framework that creates a cohesive and effective learning experience.”