Research Article

How Much Do Faculty Think Students Should Pay for Course Materials? A Survey of Instructors’ Use of Current Course Materials and OER Use

Author
  • Julia E. Rodriguez (Oakland University)

Abstract

Introduction: Campus affordability initiatives promote the adoption of free, low-cost, and open educational materials. Coordinators first need to understand faculty usage of instructional course materials, textbook selection authority, and their price tolerance for, knowledge of, and use of open educational resources (OER). Methods: Faculty at a medium-sized research university in the Midwest were invited to participate in an online survey about their current use of instructional course materials, their knowledge of material cost, and student purchasing habits. The survey had a completion rate of 128 responses, representing all teaching ranks on campus. Results: Instructors assign a wide range of materials and rarely hear from students about their inability to purchase textbooks. The majority find US$100 or more an acceptable price and believe that more than 70% of students purchase all required items. Over half of respondents make the final decision about their materials, and factually accurate content is the top priority when making selections. Eighty percent have some awareness of OER, but OER use is low. Discussion: Response rate was too low to make general assumptions but suggests areas for further exploration and provides base data when working with departments. A faculty member’s selection authority could be limiting OER use and impacting students. Discussions need to take place about an acceptable price for department courses and how faculty decide to require materials. Conclusion: Outreach to campus partners should promote high-quality materials as instructors consider this the most when selecting resources. Further examination of how selection authority impacts OER use and student success need to occur.

Keywords: textbook cost, faculty knowledge, awareness, tolerance, open educational resources, OER

How to Cite:

Rodriguez, J. E., (2022) “How Much Do Faculty Think Students Should Pay for Course Materials? A Survey of Instructors’ Use of Current Course Materials and OER Use”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 10(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/jlsc.13273

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Published on
08 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed