Open Educational Resources and Technical and Professional Communication: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Directions

Published In

Programmatic Perspectives

Document Type


Publication Date



Open Educational Resources, Open access publishing, Scholarly publishing, Social justice


Global, national, and state proponents of open educational resources (OERs) have argued for their value based on data suggesting that they have saved students billions of dollars in textbook costs. However, cost savings are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the conversations that technical and professional communication (TPC) should be having as programs and individual faculty evaluate adopting OER, and other free-digital and low-cost materials, in their courses. To create a foundation for a strategic conversation about OERs and TPC, this article offers five categories of challenges that we have identified by talking to students and faculty at our home institution and by reviewing the literature about OERs in higher education. These five categories are: Awareness, Choice, Quality, Efficacy and Use. The article ends with suggestions for further research about OERs in TPC, especially in the areas of usability and user experience, and a call to a more coordinated field-level approach.


© 2021 CPTSC

Persistent Identifier