Considerations For Selecting Open Education and Open Access Readings


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Textbook costs are increasing. Students opt to get through a course without the textbook to save money. Faculty recognizing this challenge might consider free alternatives to the conventional textbook to save students money and increase the likelihood of students having access to the textbook by using open access and open education resources. In this document, I identify and discuss several factors that instructors should consider before choosing open education or open access textbooks readings for their courses. I used open education and open access materials in Introduction to Sociology, but many of the factors to consider apply to courses beyond Introduction to Sociology.


Resource Type(s):
Stephanie Medley-Rath, Indiana University Kokomo 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Teaching and Learning in Sociology 
Class Level:
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

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This resource comes out of a three-semester project where I tested open access and open education resources in Introduction to Sociology compared to traditional, print textbooks. I formally surveyed students regarding the goals assessments listed above. Individual faculty should consult with their students formally or informally to gauge how students...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
Provide students with affordable textbook options while maintaining overall course learning objectives.
Assessment 1:
Compare final grades in the course using open access and open education resources to those using a conventional textbook to determine how learning may have been impacted.
Assessment 2:
Survey students regarding their ability to access electronic readings.
Assessment 3:
Survey students regarding their printing of electronic resources to assess cost savings.

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Medley-Rath_TRAILS_Considerations for Using OER.docx