May 18, 2022

New Report Examines Attitudes, Opinions, and Use of Open Educational Resources (OER) Among Teaching Faculty in U.S. Higher Education.

A new report containing survey findings about OER awareness and usage from the  from Babson College in Massachusetts,

The report (75 pages; PDF) is titled, “Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16.”

From a News Release/Key Findings:

Read the News Release

Awareness of open educational resources (OER) among U.S. higher education teaching faculty has improved, but still remains less than a majority, according to a new report from the Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG).

Survey results, using responses of over 3,000 faculty, show that OER status is not a driving force in the selection of educational materials – with the most cited barrier being the effort required to find and evaluate such materials.  While use of open resources is low overall, it is somewhat higher among large enrollment introductory-level courses.

Source: Babson Survey Group

Key findings from the report include:

Faculty awareness of OER has increased, with 25% of faculty reporting that they were “Aware” or “Very Aware” of open educational resources, up from 20% last year.


Only 5.3% of courses are using open textbooks (includes public domain and Creative Commons licensed).


Large enrollment introductory undergraduate courses have adopted openly licensed OpenStax College textbooks at twice the rate (10%) as openly licensed textbooks among all courses.


The most common factor cited by faculty when selecting educational resources was the cost to the students. After cost, the next most common was the comprehensiveness of the resource, followed by how easy it was to find.


There is a serious disconnect between how many faculty consider a factor in selecting educational resources and how satisfied they are with the state of that factor. Faculty are least satisfied with the cost of textbooks, yet that is the most commonly listed factor for why they select resources.


The barriers to adopting OER most often cited by faculty are that “there are not enough resources for my subject” (49%), it is “too hard to find what I need” (48%) and “there is no comprehensive catalog of resources” (45%).

Direct to Full Text Report, “Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.