Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 12-16-2022


This study analyzed the possibility of saving on textbook costs without sacrificing student performance by using Open Educational Resources (OER) at no cost to students as a replacement for high-priced commercially printed books. Approximately two hundred students enrolled in business and economics courses at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York from Fall 2016 to Fall 2018 were assessed in this study. Using summative assessments and course grades as a measure of students’ performance, the findings showed that students in courses using OER as compared to students in the same subject area using traditional textbooks perform equally well. Therefore, OER materials that are available to students at no cost alleviate the higher costs that students incur for the purchase of traditional textbooks without a sacrifice or loss of student performance. These findings suggest that adopting open educational resources, even if no positive effect can be detected, can be used because they save students money on textbook costs, especially financially struggling students, without negatively affecting their learning and performance in the course.


Acknowledgement: We gratefully acknowledge support from the Open Education Group Fellowship funded through the Hewlett Foundation, the Department of Business at Kingsborough Community College, the Kingsborough Center for Teaching and Learning (KCTL), and the Kingsborough Center for e-Learning (KCeL).

This work was originally published in Social Education Research, available at

Copyright ©2022 Dorina Tila, et al. DOI: This is an open-access article distributed under a CC BY license (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License)



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