#SUNYCIT – High Impact OER Adoption: Ambitions, Practical Considerations, and Outcomes

#SUNYCIT - High Impact OER Adoption: Ambitions, Practical Considerations, and Outcomes

One of the highlights of SUNY CIT was the keynote address by David Wiley. He gave a very informative presentation on the impact of open educational resources in education.

His presentation begins at 7:24. 

Open Educational Resources

Wiley was quick to begin his presentation with a note about OER. Specifically, his entire presentation was available to use through a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License

Wiley explained that the world has changed, and he pointed out some of the changes. These changes are summed up in this slide:

how the world has changed

He indicated that higher education has not kept up with the changes. He used online education as an example.

How online has not kept up to the change

Wiley started to allude to the cost savings potential by showing the costs of copying and distributing a book using three different methods: handwriting, printing press, and internet. The internet is virtually free.

The internet enables us to do amazing things, however, copyright forbids it. Just because something is open does not mean it is free. It means free to access with permissions to use.

The 5 Rs

Retaining content is fundamental. Wiley talked about subscription models like library journals that once you stop paying, you lose access.

Wiley then explored the cost of content to students and faculty.

Cost of using content in the classroom

Campuses, departments, and faculty can reduce the cost and burden of using content by initially replacing “required materials” with OER content.

High Impact OER adoption

The price of textbooks has outpaced consumer prices three-fold. Wiley compares various subscription models to illustrate his point.

Textbook Pricing in Context

Because textbooks are so expensive, students make some economic choices that do not support learning. Either they will not purchase a textbook or they will not take a class.

Cost vs student success

Wiley shared other interesting research findings. Students who are in classes that use OER content do as well or better than those who use commercial content. Additionally, those taking classes with OER content will also take a heavier load.

Credits taken

Commercial vs OER

Wiley shared some strategies for using OER in the classroom. I recommend that you watch the video to see these strategies. You can begin watching at 43:30.

Here is an example of a student project that Wiley referenced.

Wiley then went on to discuss the savings of an OER-based degree “Z-degree”. He used Tidewater Community College as an example.


I have watched Dr. Wiley speak on a couple of occasions, and I am sold on the importance of OER. In addition to cost savings and increased student success for the learners, OER gives more control to the instructor.

For more information on this topic, I recommend these resources:

Also, here are my notes for this presentation.

Additional Reading

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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