The Open Education movement seeks to improve student learning through the use of free and openly licensed course materials - textbooks, exercises, assignments - that can be customized by teachers and easily accessed by all students regardless of their financial means. Switching to such Open Educational Resources (OER), like textbooks from OpenStax and OpenIntro, gives faculty the freedom to revise and remix content to match their plan for the course. OER also allow students to engage with the text in new and pedagogically powerful ways that help them recognize themselves as producers of information rather than just consumers. Open Pedagogy is the practice of employing OER to support student learning in ways that are impossible when using traditional, closed course materials.
In the first three weeks of the Fall 2019 semester, the Library conducted a survey to learn more about students' personal experiences with textbooks and course materials during their careers at Gettysburg College. The survey, inspired by the Florida Virtual Campus Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey, contained eleven questions about students' experiences and opinions. We sought to learn:
From student responses, we found some key takeaways:
For more detailed reports on the survey, check out our presentation ""I spent my whole summer's wages..on books alone': Gettysburg College Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey" in The Cupola.
Recipients of the 2021 JCCTL OER Grant talk about their experiences using OER in their classes. Hear about the process of adopting/remixing and the effects of using OER on their students!