The Effects of Using Open Educational Resources on Minority Achievement in Undergraduate Mathematics

The Effects of Using Open Educational Resources on Minority Achievement in Undergraduate Mathematics

Josephine Dunbar Davis (Fort Valley State University, USA) and Samuel Bradley Cartwright (Fort Valley State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1200-5.ch002

Abstract

Prominent in the public debate on college affordability is the rising cost of textbooks. Owing to limited finances or mounting college debt, many students fail to purchase required course textbooks. Among the perils students without textbooks face are delayed course enrollment, high failure or dropout rates, and extended time to graduation. At Fort Valley State University, an Historically Black University within the University System of Georgia, the mathematics faculty first observed increasing numbers of college algebra students without textbooks, then, similarly, with upper division students. As a cost-savings measure, the faculty redesigned eight courses using open educational resources (OER). This chapter highlights the four-year results of faculty and students' OER course experiences. OER students have better grades, lower failure rates, and better attendance records than those using traditional textbooks. The attitude of OER students towards mathematics also improved. A total cost savings of $197,780 was realized with an average, per student savings of $198.
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Background

In response to public concerns over the rising cost of a college education, the state of Georgia provided funding to USG to undertake ALG, a textbook transformation initiative. In spring 2015, the first round of ALG grants was awarded to USG faculty for the development and use of OER. ALG grants continue to be awarded in support of released time and professional development opportunities. This funding enables USG faculty to explore ways to lower students’ cost of textbooks and related course materials (https://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/).

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