Open Educational Resources Community of Learning

Module 1: Benefits of OER for Students

Using OER can both provide tremendous cost savings for students and impact student success and completion rates. The cost of textbooks can be a huge financial burden on students, which not only affects student success, but could also delay graduation for students who are taking fewer classes per term because of that cost, further increasing financial costs for students over time. OER provide students with day-one access to free course materials, and research reviewed by the Open Education Group shows that most students perform as well or better using OER course materials compared with students using traditional textbooks.

"When faculty use OER, we aren't just saving students money on textbooks: we are directly impacting that students' ability to enroll in, persist through, and successfully complete a course." - Jhangiani & DeRosa, 2017

The Florida Virtual Campus’ 2016 and 2018 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey demonstrates that the cost of commercial textbooks continues to negatively impact student access, success, and completion.


graphic of impact of textbook costs on student progress

Image Source: Infographic: Impact of Student Textbook Costs on Student Progress, Florida Virtual Campus Office of Distance Learning & Student Services, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.