Evolving Access to Educational Materials





access, educational materials, textbooks, inclusive access subscriptions, open educational resources


The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the ways in which the selection of educational materials results in implications that impact access to these materials. This is necessary considering the evolving nature of educational materials offered by traditional publishers, and the increase in the availability of online learning materials, among those, open educational resources. I begin by reviewing the existing literature on emerging problems and barriers to learners’ access to educational materials including textbooks, online learning resources, and open educational resources. The findings from the literature review confirm that learners are now engaging with an increasingly complex ecosystem of educational materials, both print and digital, in a multitude of differing forms and formats, with various terms of use and durations of sustained access. Educators have a variety of choices to make when considering the educational materials to be used in their courses, and while fitness for purpose still dominates as the most important selection criterion, ease and persistence of access are becoming important considerations. A model which encapsulates the findings considering the variety of educational materials is presented alongside a discussion about the specific considerations for each.


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