OER Research

While textbooks are not the highest cost for students, they are the one expense where faculty can make a difference. Faculty are the key decision-makers on textbooks. The research by Hilton and Colvard, below, demonstrates that the decision to use OER has the potential to impact the academic success, persistence, and retention of our UTSA Roadrunners. OER also aligns with UT System guiding documents and reflects the values and language in both the UTSA Strategic Plan and the UTSA Inclusivity Statement.

Hilton’s Systematic Review

John Hilton published a systematic review of 16 studies in 2016. The review found that students that use OER had higher test scores and lower drop, fail, withdraw rates compared to students that use a commercial textbook.

University of Georgia Study

Colvard et al led this study in 2018, which had great implications for the impact of OER on learning and equity. The study was conducted over the course of 6 years and involved approximately 21,000 students enrolled in large survey courses.

Enrolled students experienced: 

  • Increases in A’s and A-minuses in the courses by 5.5% and 7.73% percent respectively 
  • Number of students who dropped, withdrew, or failed fell by 2.68% 
  • DFW rates decreased for students receiving financial aid that were non-white or enrolled part-time. 

Find additional OER research on OER Support for UTSA Faculty.