Research Article| Volume 52, ISSUE 4, P359-368, April 2020

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Open Educational Resource Textbook Impact on Students in an Introductory Nutrition Course

Published:September 13, 2019DOI:



      To determine if student outcomes, usage, perceptions, and engagement differ between introductory nutrition courses that used an open educational resource (OER) textbook compared with a traditional textbook.




      College introductory nutrition course.


      Students enrolled in introductory nutrition courses that used a traditional textbook or an OER textbook.


      Implementation of an OER textbook in all introductory nutrition courses during 1 semester.

      Main Outcome Measure(s)

      Usage, perceptions, and engagement with the textbook were evaluated by an online survey. Student outcome data (eg, grades) were collected from the learning management system at the end of the semester.


      Differences in student outcomes, usage, perceptions, and engagement were determined by t tests. Open-ended responses on textbook likes and dislikes were evaluated by thematic analysis.


      The number of students who completed the introductory nutrition course with a traditional textbook (n = 346) was higher than those who completed the course with an OER textbook (n = 311). There was no difference in student outcomes between textbooks. P values for student usage ranged from <.001 to .001, <.001 for engagement, and <.001 to .001 for perception with the OER textbook, with significantly better P values for outcomes than those with the traditional textbook. The $0 cost and place-based nature were noted as positive attributes of the OER textbook, whereas students appreciated the format and visual appeal of the traditional textbook.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Academic performance in introductory nutrition was not affected by an OER textbook. An OER textbook for introductory nutrition may be an appropriate solution for institutions seeking to reduce student costs.

      Key Words

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      Linked Article

      • Corrigendum
        Journal of Nutrition Education and BehaviorVol. 52Issue 6
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          The April 2020 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior carried a Research Article titled “Open Educational Resource Textbook Impact on Students in an Introductory Nutrition Course (J Nutr Educ Behav. 2020;52(4):359-368; ). The third author's surname was misspelled and should be “Tillinghast.” The authors regret this error.
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