Survey Says: Many Higher-Ed Faculty Still Lack Awareness of OER

THE ELUSIVE HUNT FOR OER: Open Educational Resources (OER) is one of those ideas that everyone likes in principle but few actually use. Between two-thirds and three-quarters of college faculty say they are unaware of OER, according to a Babson/Pearson survey of 2,144 faculty members. Part of the problem is that “many academics have only a vague understanding of the details of what constitutes” OER; some confuse open with free; others with open source.

Discoverability also remains an issue: 38 percent said it was “difficult or very difficult” to search for materials, and the top deterrent was the lack of a comprehensive catalog or clearinghouse. Nearly 60 percent also said they’re unable to judge their quality, although a recent published study shows that they can be just as effective as traditional textbook material. Here's the infographic summary; the full report (PDF) dives into further details and segments responses based on different faculty roles and backgrounds.

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