Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D) is in the process of finalizing its publication of the special issue Shifting to digital: Informing the rapid development, deployment, and future of teaching and learning. The issue only includes brief multiple-perspective responses (~1000 words) on the implications of recent ETR&D publications in addressing current challenges related to an increased focus on digital learning.

One of the papers that the journal invited responses to was Hilton (2016), a paper in which the author synthesized the existing literature to examine outcomes and perceptions associated with instances in which OER replaced commercial textbooks. Hilton also published an updated review in 2020.

I wrote a response to this paper from a social justice perspective, and it is now available online. In Open educational resources: expanding equity or reflecting and furthering inequities? I argue that open educational resources (OER), such as open textbooks, are an appropriate and worthwhile response to consider as colleges and universities shift to digital modes of teaching and learning. However, without scrutiny, such efforts may reflect or reinforce structural inequities. Thus, OER can be a mixed blessing, expanding inclusion and equity in some areas, but furthering inequities in others. One interesting part of this paper is its engagement with the politics of citation literature in the context of OER.

Other responses to Hilton in this special issue include Hodges (2020) and [I think there’s a couple of more TBD so I’ll update this in due course]