Elizabeth Spica, doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies interning with UT’s Post-Secondary Education Research Center, recently presented research exploring Open Educational Resources (OER) and state-level policies at the 16th annual Open Education Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Open Educational Resources (OER) have been shown to positively impact issues related to student access and success, from course material affordability to course completion and enrollment intensity (Fischer, et al, 2015; Hilton, 2018). Despite progress over the past decade, faculty still consistently report the effort required to find readily available, high-quality materials to be a barrier to the use and adoption of OER (Barker, et al, 2018; Braddlee, 2018; Jhangiani, et al, 2016; Seaman and Seaman, 2017).
While almost half the states in the United States have considered or adopted legislation to support the development and use of OER, little research has elucidated the practical impact of state-level policies on contributions from faculty at institutions within those respective states. Spica’s research, entitled Open Educational Resources (OER) and State-Level Policies: A Network Analysis, examined the relationship between state-level policies and OER contributions from faculty at institutions within those respective states. Results from the data analyzed showed that faculty affiliated with institutions in states with existing textbook affordability and/or OER policies contributed significantly more OER than faculty affiliated with institutions in states without existing policies.