Educational resource design process

Publication Year: 
Category of Information: 
Sample size: 
2711 faculty
Sample description: 

A total of 2,711 faculty responded to a sufficient number of questions to be included in the analysis, representing the full range of higher education institutions (two-year, four-year, all Carnegie classifications, and public, private nonprofit, and for-profit) and the complete range of faculty (full- and part-time, tenured or not, and all disciplines). More than 73% of the respondents report that they are full-time faculty members. Over 26% teach at least one online course and 28% teach at least one blended course.



Faculty were asked how their required printed and digital textbooks were licensed. Faculty overwhelmingly reported that they were using copyrighted printed textbooks (96%), with only small proportions stating that the text was licensed under Creative Commons (1%) or was in the public domain (4%). The numbers for the digital version of the textbook were also highly slanted towards copyrighted material, but at a rate considerably lower (78%) than for print versions. The rate that faculty said that their digital textbooks were either creative Common Commons or public domain were higher than for printed textbooks, but the second largest group (16%) were faculty reporting that they did not know how the digital materials were licensed. This is well in line with earlier results showing faculty do not have a high level of awareness of the various legal permissions that govern the use and sharing of their required textbooks.


Only a small proportion of faculty report that they are using an open-licensed textbook (defined as either public domain or Creative Commons). However, the 9% rate for 2016-17 represents a substantial increase over the rate for 2015-16 of 5%. Use of open-licensed textbooks may be rare, but it is growing.