Update October 2011: Preliminary efficacy results are now available!

I’ve been involved in an exciting research program where we are collaborating with middle and high school teachers to determine the cost effectiveness and educational effectiveness of a set of open textbooks in middle and high school classrooms. David Wiley initiated the project, and it’s been underway for a little over a year. The short version of the study is that teachers have modified CK-12 textbooks and a hard copy was printed for each student. Part of the the thought process was that by going with an OER textbook, it might be cheaper to print a book that students could keep rather than use a proprietary text that would have to be reused for seven years to recoup its costs. Some literature demonstrates that when students have their own text to mark and annotate that they learn more effectively. If both of the foregoing statements are correct, by using an OER textbook, students could learn more while districts save money on textbooks.

The below graphic illustrates the five possible outcomes of our study.

Stay tuned as the study unfolds!