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Faculty Knowledge of Open Educational Resources is Still Lacking, Survey Finds

Faculty Knowledge of Open Educational Resources is Still Lacking, Survey Finds

A survey of 3,000 higher education faculty members has found that while knowledge of Open Educational Resources (OERs) is steadily improving, it is still lagging as less than a majority of those surveyed are aware of OERs’ potential.

The report, from Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG), found that only 25 percent of faculty said they are “Aware” or “Very Aware” of OERs.

According to the survey, faculty reported a series of challenges they faced when looking to implement OERs in their classes.

"The barriers to adopting OER most often cited by faculty are that 'there are not enough resources for my subject' (49%), it is 'too hard to find what I need' (48%) and 'there is no comprehensive catalog of resources' (45%),” said BSRG in a statement.

All in all, the survey found that only 5.3% of courses are using open textbooks.

"There is potential for growth for OER, as many faculty report that they are willing to try these resources. However, while faculty cite cost to the student more than any other factor in selecting educational materials, concerns about the time and effort it takes to find and evaluate these materials remains a significant barrier to wider adoption,” the survey concluded.

While this survey interviewed higher education faculty only, it has implications for the K-12 setting, as well.

Like faculty in higher ed, K-12 administration and educators are turning more and more frequently to OERs to save money on purchasing textbooks that are destined to become outdated. OERs to many K-12 professionals are viewed as living and breathing resources that are budget-friendly.

[Read: County’s Teachers Suggest Getting Rid of Textbooks as Solution to Budget Problems

A survey released earlier this year indicates that K-12 teachers could, in fact, be using OERs much more frequently than their peers working in higher ed.

A survey from TES Global in April found that 3 in 4 K-12 teachers are using some form of OER in their classroom; the survey reached 1,000 educators. 

Education World would like to ask our readers to get a K-12 perspective: How knowledgeable of Open Educational Resources would you consider yourself? Take our poll below.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

Read the full report here.

7/27/2016

How knowledgeable of Open Educational Resources would you consider yourself?

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