Perspectives from a Departmental Adoption of an Open Technical Communication Textbook


  • Tiffani Tijerina Kennesaw State University
  • E. Jonathan Arnett Kennesaw State University


open educational resources, programmatic adoption, faculty perspectives, student perspectives, technical communication, departmental adoption


In fall 2020, Kennesaw State University implemented an open educational resource (OER) as its required textbook across all sections of its TCOM 2010: Technical Writing course. Using results from a quantitative study of students and faculty using the Open Technical Communication textbook, this paper provides valuable perspectives on actual use of an OER in the technical communication survey course. Results of the study revealed both expected and unexpected insights that indicate topics for further research. From the faculty survey, there may be a positive effect of faculty involvement in the creation and adoption process on their perception of the OER, and the relationship between faculty perceptions of student engagement and students’ actual academic achievement may not be a close one. From the student survey, students’ actual use of OER is about as inconsistent as their use of traditional commercial textbooks, students’ use of supplementary resources has a positive effect on their perception of the OER as long as they choose to use them, and students’ interest in an OER and their perception of its quality do not appear to be related.


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Author Biographies

Tiffani Tijerina, Kennesaw State University

Tiffani Tijerina is a Limited-Term Instructor of Technical Communication at Kennesaw State University. She has a well-established presence in the open education community, including previous work with Affordable Learning Georgia and the Open Education Conference, in addition to managing the international award-winning Open Technical Communication textbook. Ms. Tijerina is also a PhD candidate in the Technical Communication and Rhetoric program at Texas Tech University, where she is conducting dissertation research on barriers to OER creation, adoption, and sustainability. Her other research interests include open pedagogy, instructional design, and social justice.

E. Jonathan Arnett, Kennesaw State University

Dr. E. Jonathan Arnett is an Associate Professor of Technical Communication and the Program Coordinator for the BS in Technical Communication degree program in the Department of Technical Communication & Interactive Design at Kennesaw State University. He is one of the primary authors of Open Technical Communication and led its adoption as the primary textbook for the technical writing service course at KSU. Dr. Arnett’s research involves user-generated OER content and students’ actual versus reported usage of OER.




How to Cite

Tijerina, T., & Arnett, E. J. (2023). Perspectives from a Departmental Adoption of an Open Technical Communication Textbook. Programmatic Perspectives, 14(1). Retrieved from