Pedagogical Freedom & Inclusivity of Course Content

Most OER can be modified, meaning that you can: 

  • Integrate content from multiple openly-licensed sources 
  • Reorganize or restructure the content to fit your course schedule
  • Incorporate materials written by or representing diverse voices 
  • Correct accessibility issues
  • Revise or remove outdated or biased information 
  • Add unique content that you (or your students!) have created *

* Want to learn more about involving your students in the creation or modification of an OER? Check out this guide to open pedagogy!

Learning Outcomes & Student Success

To reiterate some of the findings mentioned earlier in this guide, OER can lead to improved outcomes for students from underrepresented groups: 

  • Research summarized by Hilton (2019) suggests that students generally experience equivalent or better learning outcomes when using OER, as compared to outcomes when using traditional textbooks.

  • Colvard, Watson, and Park (2018) found that "OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education [emphasis added]" (p. 262).

    • This research was complemented by the research of Delgado, Delgado, and Hilton (2019) who found that OER have "a significant positive impact on both international students and Pell grant eligible students" (abstract). 

  • Clinton & Khan (2019) conducted a meta-analysis and found course withdrawal rates were significantly lower in courses that used open educational resources.