Open Oregon Educational Resources has offered open textbook review workshops since joining the Open Textbook Network (OTN) on behalf of Oregon’s 17 community colleges in 2015. The OTN model has two parts: a faculty workshop presenting open textbooks as a way to solve the problem of high textbook prices, followed by an opportunity for faculty to earn a $200 stipend to peer review a book in the Open Textbook Library. The OTN finds that faculty who write an in-depth review of an open textbook are much more likely to adopt the book in their classes.
In Fall 2015, there were 6 Open Textbook Workshops at 4 colleges, attended by 100 faculty. The workshops resulted in 66 textbook reviews published in the Open Textbook Library. 6 months after the workshop, there were 19 confirmed open textbook adoptions, and an estimated $110,600 in student savings during Winter and Spring 2016. Surveying those faculty one year after the workshop, there were 8 additional confirmed open textbook adoptions, and a cumulative estimated savings of $309,000 from the fall workshops to date.
In Spring 2016, 13 more Open Textbook Workshops were offered at 7 colleges and attended by 104 faculty. The workshops resulted in 74 textbook reviews published in the Open Textbook Library, 25 confirmed open textbook adoptions, and an estimated $147,900 in student savings during Spring, Summer, and Fall 2016.
By the numbers
|Total program costs||$35,121|
|Estimated student savings to date||$456,900|
|Student savings per dollar spent||$13.01|
|Faculty participants who wrote reviews||69%|
|Faculty participants who adopted open textbooks within 2 quarters of the workshop||24%|
|Faculty participants who adopted open textbooks within 4 quarters of the workshop||27%|
|Faculty reviewers who adopted open textbooks||37%|
- Saving students $13.01 for each program dollar spent is an outstanding return in comparison to other kinds of OER activities (such as offering faculty stipends to adapt or create open course materials).
- The weak link in this type of assessment is incomplete data, which raises the possibility that savings are underestimated. 29% of spring workshop attendees didn’t reply about whether they adopted an open textbook, and 51% of fall workshop attendees didn’t respond to the follow-up survey.
- Faculty don’t always teach a course within 2 quarters of taking the workshop. Some initial “no” responses can more accurately be classified as “not yet” because they intend to adopt during the coming academic year.
Updated 4/13/17 with additional data not previously reported.