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Research Guides

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Research Supporting OER

Yes. Both student and institutional performance were researched in a multi-institutional study that showed classes that employ OER have lower drop and withdrawal rates than those using expensive commercial textbooks, thus helping students stay on track to graduate.  Further, student academic performance in classes using OER has been shown to be the same or slightly improved over classes using traditional commercial textbooks.

Why are Open Educational Resources worth considering?

Rising textbook prices continue at a rate exceeding tuition and fees, and at a rate that is three times faster than inflation.  Open Educational Resources are free of cost.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students' Dilemma and Potential Benefits of OER

  • textbooks comprise ~14% of enrollment costs
  • as many as 50% of students go without getting the textbook
  • money crunch at the start of the semester causes some students to not get textbook until 5th week when it is too late for the first test
  • studies show students without the textbook average a letter grade lower

Open education resources (OER), such as Open access (OA) textbooks and other OERs, or custom course packets of OERs and library licensed resources, provide a low- to no-cost alternative to expensive commercial textbooks for college students

These resources can allow instructors to customize the textbook, supporting their efforts to design innovative, effective instructional materials and align these materials to their course goals and objectives


  • Textbook cost savings
  • Reduce college costs / making A&M more affordable
  • Improve student access to Texas A&M
  • Enhance student learning outcomes
  • Improve student graduation rates
  • Improve course quality
  • Enrollment increases (benefit to Texas A&M)