OpenStax director comments on new Babson OER survey results


David Ruth

OpenStax director comments on new Babson OER survey results

HOUSTON — (Dec. 19, 2017) — The director of Rice University-based OpenStax is available to comment on new findings released today by Babson Survey Research Group about faculty awareness and satisfaction with open educational resources (OER), such as textbooks.

Among the key findings, all of which are available here, Babson found that awareness and use of OER materials continues to grow and that faculty satisfaction with OpenStax is high. As a nonprofit educational technology initiative, OpenStax provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators. It also offers low-cost, personalized courseware. From the report:

  • Faculty satisfaction with their choice of educational materials is as high for OpenStax textbooks as it is for commercial textbooks.
  • Large-enrollment introductory undergraduate courses have adopted openly licensed OpenStax College textbooks at a rate (16.5 percent) equivalent to that of commercial publications.
  • Faculty teaching large-enrollment introductory-level courses who did not select an OpenStax textbook reported an average cost of $125 for the required textbook, while those who did select an OpenStax text reported an average cost of $31.

“We’re thrilled to see the high satisfaction rate and market share data in Babson’s findings,” said Rich Baraniuk, founder and director of OpenStax. “We’ve crossed the threshold into mainstream and recognize that with this unprecedented growth, we have a responsibility to take the next step to improve learning, while continuing to increase access for all and preserving choice for faculty.”

In the Babson release, Julia Seaman, research director for the Babson Survey Research Group, said, “The OpenStax results among large-enrollment introductory-level courses shows that OER can be successful. OpenStax has been able to reach penetration levels equal to most of their commercial competitors, with equal levels of faculty satisfaction, in a very short time.”

Nearly 1.5 million U.S. college students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from OpenStax.

OpenStax projects this year’s savings to be nearly double last year’s impact on students’ wallets. Since 2012 OpenStax has saved nearly 3.5 million students more than $342 million by offering 29 textbooks for the most-attended college courses. The free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed books include College Physics, Biology, Concepts of Biology, University Physics, Principles of Microeconomics, Psychology, American Government and College Algebra, among others.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Baraniuk, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.


Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

Follow OpenStax on Twitter @OpenStax.

Related OpenStax news from Rice:

OpenStax textbooks now available through bookstore digital access programs

OpenStax partners with Katalyst to deliver free textbooks to Poland

Rice University-based OpenStax partners with UK Open Textbooks – Sept. 12, 2017

Nearly 1.5 million college students to use free textbooks this school year — Aug. 10, 2017

OpenStax launches personalized learning tool for college courses — July 10, 2017

OpenStax’s 2016 partner schools expected to save students $8.2M in coming year — June 27, 2017

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About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.