Phil Grimaldi, Director of Research at OpenStax presented research on the impact that OER access has on learning. The study compared OER versus non-OER studies.
Researchers examined nine studies with forty-two comparisons of students using OER versus those students who did not use OER materials. There is little evidence that the use of OER improved learning in the studies.
Researchers further explored the question of access through a simulation they developed. The simulation also produced a null effect.
Reducing the cost of textbooks and moving to OER will improve access. However, the benefit may be negated if the content is only digital and students do not have digital access.
Every decision made in course creation has a consequence. It is important to consider the consequences while developing a course and mitigate the negative effects.