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PERC Explores Policies that Promote Course Material Affordability

Mergers of major publishers and the ever-rising cost of course materials have catalyzed UT’s Postsecondary Education Research Center examination of policies  that promote course material affordability, namely through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER).

The Hewlett Foundation ( defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as “high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose.” In contrast to the restrictive copyright license tied to traditional course materials, authors of OER apply a “Creative Commons” (CC) license to their work that legally enforces free access and sharing. Similar to authors of traditionally copyrighted materials, credit is also given to authors of OER, with the added benefit that others may freely use, build upon, and enhance their work.

The full report and executive summary are now available on PERC’s Research Report site.

In addition to the PERC publication, ELPS PhD student and PERC research affiliate Elizabeth Spica recently presented on Best Practices and Institutional Models in textbook affordability during the June 2019 Textbook Affordability Summit hosted by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in Nashville, TN.