The open resource movement has been around for a while, starting with static learning objects (about 2000), and transitioning to OER that allowed for revision and reuse. Today, it is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is pushing the OER movement forward. Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,200 per year.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn't purchase a textbook because it was too expensive. Through the use of OER, the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced. OER also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources.
The price of college textbooks continues to increase. A survey conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group finds that students are opting to skip the books even if their grades suffer. The group said open textbooks—written by faculty members, peer-reviewed, and available free online—could help make textbooks affordable again.Open Textbooks Could Help Students