Open Educational Resources in Business Law: Notes from the Field
Open educational resources (OERs) are an alternative textbook to publisher materials used by colleges and universities. OER materials have a cost advantage for students; many are published as free or cost-reduced textbooks for students. The authors developed and piloted an OER textbook for Business Law I in the Management program of the School of Business, Technology and Law. Over 800 Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) students enroll in this course each academic year. The authors evaluated the cost savings for students compared to traditional publisher materials, and also examined student success rates in OER courses compared to traditional publisher courses. The authors’ assessment is that OER materials can save students substantial costs to attend college, and though there is some difference in student success between OER and traditional publisher courses, this variation is likely explained by other independent variables such as the course teaching modality. The process for receiving funding, developing OER-based materials on a publicly available and no-cost website, and distributing the materials to students is also discussed.