Finding OER as ‘difficult’ as finding traditional resources

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: OER choice | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

In 2014 the Babson Survey Research Group surveyed 2,144 teaching faculty members in U.S. higher education to find out about their attitudes, opinions and use of OER. One of the key findings in their report talks about the time and effort required to find and evaluate resources:

The level of effort in searching for OER reported by faculty is only slightly more difficult than the effort that they perceive in searching for traditional resources, so why is it that issues of finding and evaluating OER tops faculty’s list of potential barriers for OER adoption? The answer appears to be that faculty see barriers for the adoption of any new teaching resource – OER or traditional. The effort to find and evaluate new resources (of any kind) and integrate them into the curriculum is substantial. Over a quarter of faculty see this as “difficult” or “very difficult” for traditional resources – even with their well-established mechanisms and considerable faculty experience with the process. Moving to an OER, where the faculty member is far less familiar and the cataloging and search mechanism less well developed only make this issue more important.” (p. 30)

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