Date of Degree

6-3-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Michael Mandiberg

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education | Online and Distance Education

Keywords

open educational resources, oer, open education, CUNY

Abstract

This thesis reports on findings from a study conducted with students using open educational resources as the primary course material in their Health Psychology course. The study took place at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), of the City University of New York (CUNY), a comprehensive college located in Brooklyn. Students were assigned the OER by their course instructor, who developed it as part of a library funded pilot initiative. Two research instruments were employed to collect qualitative data from students: a survey and one-on-one interviews with a smaller student sample. Both survey and interview items asked students how they engaged with the OER as the primary assigned course material. Students shared feedback about the overall organization of the OER, methods used to access the OER and complete coursework, ease of use, benefits and challenges, and differences and similarities to using a traditional print textbook. Findings indicate that the majority of students were able to access the OER with more ease than traditional textbooks given the multiple electronic devices they accessed the OER from. A small proportion of students encountered minor usability issues, but the most frequent challenge was difficulty gaining access to the OER via college wifi. The majority of students reported that the course readings were equal to or better than traditional textbooks, and responded positively to the variety of learning materials and assignments. Most students agreed they would be willing to register for a course offering a similar resource in the future.

 
 

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