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Perez -

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Journal of Computers in Education



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The use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in course settings provides a solution to reduce the textbook barrier. Several published studies have concluded that high textbook costs may influence students' educational choices. However, there are other student characteristics that may be relevant to OER. In this work, we study various factors that may influence students' educational choices regarding OER and their impact on a student’s perspectives on OER use and quality. More specifically, we investigate whether there are significant differences in the frequency of use and perceived quality of the OER textbook based on gender, prior academic achievements, income, seniority, sentiment about online format, and motivation to learn. Our study involved students enrolled in the “Data Structures” course at Columbus State University (N=61) and analyzed students’ feedback before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide insights that can inform the decision of adopting OER in higher education settings. The results indicate that there is no significant difference between most of the students’ characteristics and the perception of the quality and use of the OER textbook. However, two student characteristics presented significant differences. Students who used the OER textbook more frequently were more likely to have a less positive attitude towards the online format of the textbook. Also, students with higher motivation to learn perceived it as a better resource than the traditional textbook compared to students with lower motivation to learn.


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