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Open Educational Resources

A resource guide for instructors on Open Educational Resources

The Financial Impact of Textbooks at Smith

College students everywhere are struggling with the cost of education, and Smith is no exception.

  • 43% of Smith students report experiencing financial hardship
  • Among these students, 74% reported difficulty purchasing books and course materials
  • 46% of Smith students report skipping buying or reading a textbook because of cost
  • 14% of students have dropped or switched courses to avoid purchasing textbooks
  • The cost of textbooks has risen 1041% over the past 30 years
  • A single textbook can cost hundreds of dollars

Sources: Smith College Pathways Survey (2017), Libraries student survey (2016)

Why Teach With OERs?

OERs mean all students:

  • Have access to course materials on the first day of class.
  • Can read, highlight, and take notes in the format that works best for them. 
  • Can easily read course materials online, on eReaders like Kindle, or download and print them.

Faculty members from Salt Lake Community College and Tidewater Community College discuss remixing course materials and gaining the freedom to teach the course the way they want using OERs.



Plymouth State University faculty member Robin DeRosa talks about her experience creating an Anthology of American Literature OER with student contributions.

A biology student at UMass Boston explains how OER contributed to cost savings and active learning in her course.