An often heard comment is that OpenTextBooks can't be as good as commercial textbooks. At the OE Global Conference John Hilton III presented the result of synthesis of Sixteen OER Studies. John is working for the Open Education Group. The Open Education Group is an interdisciplinary research group that conducts original, rigorous empirical research on the impact of OER adoption on a range of educational outcomes and designs and shares methodological and conceptual frameworks for studying the impact of OER adoption.
His presentation is based on an article that is published in the journal Educational Technology Researcy and Development. The conclusion of the article is very clear:
The collective results of the 16 studies discussed in this article provide timely information given the vast amount of money spent on traditional textbooks. Because students and faculty members generally find that OER are comparable in quality to traditional learning resources, and that the use of OER does not appear to negatively influence student learning, one must question the value of traditional textbooks.
So if OpenTextBooks don't have a negative impact on the learning outcomes, the argument to use them becomes much stronger. OpenTextBooks saves students a lot of money and that is positive in times that education becomes more and more expensive for students.
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