The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is one of the 10 campuses in the University of California, a public institution. The UCSB’s enrollment figures for 2020-2021 are as follows:

Student Enrollment Figures 2020-2021

Source: The UCSB’s 2020-2021 campus profile.

UCSB Student Enrolled by Classification Instructional Discipline 2020-2021


Source: The UCSB’s 2020-2021 campus profile.

The undergraduate enrollment has increased over the years. This increase in enrollment means UCSB should ensure all the students have access to the learning resources they need to fully participate in knowledge production. The students at UCSB are from a wide array of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. The annual academic fees and expenses for 2020-2021 are pegged at $44,159.55.

Besides tuition, students are faced with textbook, housing, and food expenses, among other costs. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) states that “the price of textbooks has skyrocketed more than three times the rate of inflation for decades. College students face steep price tags that can top $200 per book.” Thus, a $200 textbook on its own can be a huge hurdle,  when students are taking five, or more classes, the cost of textbooks simply gets ludicrous (Schroeder, 2021). For people who are already struggling, free alternatives like OER can make a real difference. According to the US PIRG report, Fixing The Brocken Textbook Market, 3rd edition, “In Fall 2020, 65 percent of students surveyed reported skipping buying a textbook, while 63 percent skipped purchasing one during the same period the previous year.” Institutions are employing various strategies to address the textbook price challenges that students are facing. One of these strategies include initiatives that encourage faculty to adopt OER.

This capstone project focuses on surveys conducted to determine OER usage or adoption by faculty as well as to assess student awareness of OER as an option for learning resources. A member of SPARC, the UCSB Library is committed to an open paradigm for research and teaching and to student success.




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