Ed.D. Dissertation Defense: Jennifer Applebee

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:30pm - 6:30pm

GSE 211

Dissertation Defense

Student Usage of Open Educational Resource Learning Materials in Algebra 2

Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Design of Learning Environments concentration of the Education Doctoral program.

Committee: Dr. Saundra Tomlinson-Clarke (Chair), Dr. Angela O’Donnell, Dr. Dan Battey



The cost of college course materials has increased dramatically in recent years. Traditional publishers advocate the use of lower-cost digital and custom editions, but both options have limitations in their ability to save students money (Senack & Donoghue, 2016). Open-educational resources (OER) are openly-licensed materials that may be used for free for educational purposes. OER are gaining in popularity as a viable alternative to traditionally published materials. Students have reported finding OER to be of equal or better quality when compared to traditional materials, and course outcomes have not been negatively impacted when OER materials are adopted (Colvard, Watson, & Park, 2018).

The purpose of this study was to describe the implementation of OER resources in a developmental Algebra 2 class for community college students who have declared non-STEM majors. The resources included a student workbook, associated videos, and an online homework tool which were cultivated to align with the Algebra 2 learning outcomes. Surveys and interviews were used to examine student and faculty perceptions of the OER materials. Final exam data indicated that there were no significant differences in the outcomes of students who used the OER resources and those who used the traditional resources.

Students generally had positive reactions to the OER materials used in this study, particularly the videos. Interestingly, students used the OER online homework tool in more ways than students used the traditional online homework tool. Faculty believed that students interacted with the OER materials with greater frequency than students who used traditional materials. In addition to the positive reactions, areas for improvement of the OER materials were noted. Specifically, students described a lack of written worked examples in the online and print materials, while also acknowledging the benefits of the available video worked examples.

The results of this study will be used to inform course material adoption decisions at the study location. The findings build confidence that OER materials are a viable option for community college mathematics course and provide direction when selecting and developing such materials.


Who to contact:

Ericka Diaz