This week’s episode of The Key examines the state of open educational resources and other affordable textbook options.

Use of free, openly licensed textbooks and other curricular materials have been on the rise amid growing concerns about college affordability. But uptake stalled last year as professors and students struggled with the transition to digital learning and the tumult of their lives, a new annual report on usage of OER finds.

This week’s episode of The Key examines the state of open educational resources and other affordable textbook options with Jeff Seaman, co-director of Bay View Analytics and the author of the OER report; Robbie Melton, a professor of educational administration at Tennessee State University and an advocate for OER use at historically black colleges; and Jorgo Gushi, a student at Quinsigamond Community College in Massachusetts. A key question: will the widespread shift to virtual learning and continued pressure on colleges to improve affordability and access for underrepresented students create opportunity for OER – or strengthen the hand of low-cost alternatives from publishers?

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Doug Lederman.

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