BYU professors research Open Education Resources textbooks

BYU professors research Open Education Resources textbooks

PROVO, UT – Three BYU professors have researched a way to save students money that would otherwise be spent on books, allowing them to save towards larger goals.

According to education research specialists, textbook prices have skyrocketed over the last 30 years. Because of this, the average BYU student spending one thousand dollars a year on textbooks.

Special Education Professor Lane Fischer explains that students are often financially burdened by these high prices. “Students end up saying ‘I gotta buy diapers,’ or ‘I gotta pay my rent,’ or ‘I gotta buy a textbook.'”

Lane, along with two other faculty members have researched a more cost friendly textbook alternative called Open Education Resources (OER).

Professor John Hilton stated that OER is defined by two things: “Number one, they’re free for anyone to use, so there’s no financial cost, and number two, they’re open in the sense that you can modify them”.

Teachers are able to adapt their course because the resources come with copyright permissions that commercial textbooks don’t have.

BYU faculty found that students who use OER consistently performed the same or better in those classes. Their research showed those using OER can save money for future classes, allowing them to advance towards graduation at a faster rate.

Professor David Wiley feels that “We need to be serving and helping students learn as much as they can at the lowest cost that we can and OER are the best way to do that.”

Though most professors are not currently using OER, a recent survery shows 91% of BYU faculty say they would be open to using it in the future.

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