Approximate Student Savings per Semester
What has the impact of the change been (for students and you/the teaching team)?
Students truly appreciate the reduction of costs, but also the ability to have a textbook in a digital format that they can use through multiple mediums (laptop, tablet, mobile). We curtail the content of the textbook to reflect the course in its entirety, so each chapter is relevant. This approach avoids students feeling like they are wasting valuable resources on conventional textbooks that may only be used for certain sections or topics.
What would you say to other faculty members who are considering switching to OER?
There is a significant upfront cost in time associated with finding resources and changing content (i.e. updating videos, photos, examples, podcasts) to be suitable for contemporary issues. Developing an OER resources gives you freedom and flexibility to develop content that is relevant (and editable). The distribution of your developed content can aid those who do not have the finances for such resources. I believe the OER initiative is worth pursuing.
Why did you want to switch to an open textbook/OER?
Reduce costs for students and the ability to organize content that better reflects my teaching initiatives.