Fall 2020 Updates: What do college students actually spend on course materials

3 replies
  1. Robert Schuwer
    Robert Schuwer says:

    Hi Phil,

    Interesting piece of information! Looking to this from a European perspective (and more specific The Netherlands), these figures are more close to spendings as seen on this side of the ocean. In advocating OER, we therefore are not using costs of materials for students as the main argument, but instead point to costs of development of materials by teachers. These costs however are very hard to determine. My colleague Ben Janssen and me have made a rough estimate for the Netherlands for HE. These yearly costs are in the range of $120M – $360M, which is a multitude of the $40M yearly spend on licenses on journals. These figures alone should be sufficient to seriously think about adopting OER, next to quality claims and accessibility. Are costs of developing learning materials by teachers known in the US?

    Regards, also on behalf of Ben Janssen

    Robert Schuwer

  2. Phil Hill
    Phil Hill says:

    Interesting information Robert (and Ben). It’s not broad-based in the US, but the argument for OER also focuses on learner outcomes (often tied to Day 1 access to materials) and even lower student spending. In terms for faculty / course creation, I have not seen an argument here based on aggregate development costs, though (although others might correct me in comments). Instead there is more emphasis on academic freedom and enabling faculty to collaborate and customize material.

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