ERIC Number: EJ1207852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
What Happens When Trained Graduate Student Instructors Switch to an Open Textbook? A Controlled Study of the Impact on Student Learning Outcomes
Hardin, Erin E.; Eschman, Bret; Spengler, Elliot S.; Grizzell, J. Alex; Moody, Anahvia Taiyib; Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Fry, Kevin M.
Psychology Learning and Teaching, v18 n1 p48-64 Mar 2019
Open educational resources (OER) are increasingly attractive options for reducing educational costs, yet controlled studies of their efficacy are lacking. The current study addressed many criticisms of past research by accounting for course and instructor characteristics in comparing objective student learning outcomes across multiple sections of General Psychology taught by trained graduate student instructors at a large research-intensive university. We found no evidence that use of the OER text impeded students' critical thinking compared to use of a traditional textbook, even after accounting for instructor characteristics. To the contrary, we found evidence of a slight increase in content knowledge when using an OER text. Importantly, this effect was driven by improvements from both our lowest-performing students and our highest-performing students. Moreover, student learning outcomes were not influenced by instructor experience, suggesting even novice instructors fared well with OER materials. Finally, students from traditionally underserved populations reported the lower cost of the book had a significantly higher impact on their decision to enroll in and remain enrolled in the course.
Descriptors: Open Educational Resources, Teaching Assistants, Shared Resources and Services, Electronic Publishing, Educational Technology, Psychology, Critical Thinking, Teacher Characteristics, Textbooks, Achievement Gains, College Students, Teaching Experience, Knowledge Level, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A