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Open Education Resources

Links to popular Open Education Resources

OER Research Overview

This guide will direct you to Open Educational Resources or library materials that you can use to develop a Low-Cost/No-Cost course. You can also consult with your Subject Librarian to help you locate high quality library content for your course and ebooks with unlimited user access.

If you would like to know more about OERs or Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grants contact CJ Ivory.

Below are few studies highlighting some of the pedagogical benefits of OERs.

For a more comprehensive review of empirical OER studies take a look at Open Education Group. This website does an excellent job of tracking all recent research on the efficacy and quality of OERs.

Learn more about OER initiatives around the world or get the latest updates on state and national OER policies visit SPARC.

Developing Your Own OER Research

If you have been using OERs in your course and are looking for best practices in researching and publishing on this experience take a look at the OER Hub Researcher Pack. This page includes links to reusable and tested survey questions as well as a cache of existing data derived from these sources.


Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 Florida student textbook and course materials survey.

  • More students have access to OER texts and may perform better if they are able to access course materials.
  • Close to 67% of students were adversely impacted because they could not afford course textbooks.

High Quality

Hilton, J. (2016). Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions. Educational Technology Research & Development, 64(4), 573-590.

  • A review of 16 studies on OER efficacy and perceptions shows that OERs does not have a negative effect on student learning outcomes.
  • Three of the nine studies reported an improvement in learning outcomes. Just one study showed a decline in learning outcomes. However this finding was not statistically significant.
  • In general, both students and faculty have a favorable perception of the quality of OERs.

Increase Retention

Croteau, E. (2017). Measures of Student Success with Textbook Transformations: The Affordable Learning Georgia Initiative. Open Praxis, 9(1), 93.

  • This article synthesizes reports from over 24 ALG transformation grant recipients.
  • There were not any statistically significant differences on student outcomes between OER based courses and traditional courses.

Hilton, J., Fischer, L., Wiley, D., & William, L. (2016). Maintaining Momentum Toward Graduation: OER and the Course Throughput Rate. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 17(6)

  • Data collected from over 67 courses at Virginia community college shows that students were less likely to withdraw from OER based courses. 
  • Authors looked at the drop rates, fail rates, and final grades to determine success rate.
  • Success rate in OER courses (Z-courses) versus courses with traditional textbooks were six percent higher. This directly impacts course retention and degree completion rates.

Winitzky-Stephens, J., & Pickavance, J. (2017). Open Educational Resources and Student Course Outcomes: A Multilevel Analysis. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 18(4).

  • This study based on 37 courses across multiple disciplines suggest that new students enrolled in OER based courses may experience slight gains in grade performance.

Improve Engagement

Weller, M., de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Pitt, B., & McAndrew, P. (2015). The Impact of OER on Teaching and Learning Practice. Open Praxis, 7(4), 351-361.

  • The authors examine factors unrelated to grade performance using a surveys administered by over 15 different collaborators.
  • About 62% of educators and 61% students agree that OERs improved satisfaction with their courses.
  • Results also show that close to 60% of educators believe students seemed more in engaged with lessons.