Understanding students’ satisfaction with OERs as course materials

Shanna Smith Jaggars (Office of Distance Education and eLearning, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Amanda L. Folk (University Libraries, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
David Mullins (Office of Distance Education and eLearning, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Publication date: 5 February 2018



The purpose of this paper is to introduce a survey instrument to measure three components of students’ perceptions of open and affordable course materials – quality, integration, and experience – and discuss its reliability and predictive validity.


The authors distributed an end-of-semester online survey to students enrolled in sections of 12 courses that adopted OER in Fall 2016, as well as conducting a within-interview survey with the instructors of those courses. The authors calculated the descriptive statistics from the responses to the student survey, as well as examining the inter-item and inter-rater reliability of the instrument. Finally, explored correlations in the data gathered through both the student and faculty surveys were explored.


The authors found that both students and faculty were generally pleased with the quality and experience of using open and affordable digital materials. The authors also found that our three survey subscales had strong inter-item reliability, and that the quality and experience subscales had predictive validity in terms of whether students would choose a traditional or digital text in future courses.


In addition to providing evidence in terms of the full survey instrument’s reliability and predictive validity, factor analysis indicates that a short scale of quality and experience Likert scale items could be used by practitioners to effectively assess satisfaction of digital materials among traditionally aged undergraduate students.



Jaggars, S., Folk, A. and Mullins, D. (2018), "Understanding students’ satisfaction with OERs as course materials", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 66-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-12-2017-0059

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