The International Journal of Open Educational Resources
Students report that not being able to afford course materials has adverse academic consequences. It is possible that this would be more problematic in relatively more difficult courses. Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are openly licensed and often available at low or no cost to students. This study examined the interaction between OER use through a campus zero textbook cost (ZTC) initiative and course difficulty on student course grades from 35 different courses at a community college while controlling for student gender, previous grade point average, and Pell grant eligibility status. Although the main effect of increasing course difficulty is decreasing individual students’ grades, there was a significant interaction between OER use and course difficulty. Student grades in sections using OER declined at a lower rate compared to the decline in student grades in sections without OER use. The findings indicate that one particular context, course difficulty, may be important for understanding the efficacy of OER adoption.
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Lane Fischer, John Hilton III, Virginia Clinton-Lisell, et al.. "The Interaction of Open Educational Resources (OER) Use and Course Difficulty on Student Course Grades in a Community College" (2021). Education, Health & Behavior Studies Faculty Publications. 67.