The impact of an anatomy and physiology open textbook on student satisfaction and engagement in a regional Australian university


  • Anna Chruscik University of Southern Queensland
  • Kate Kauter
  • Eliza Whiteside
  • Louisa Windus



OER, Accessibility, Student Satisfaction, Online textbook, Anatomy and physiology


The rising cost of tertiary study-related expenses, including textbooks, has been shown to influence enrolment rates, course choices and quality of learning experiences and outcomes for students. To address issues related to affordability and accessibility, the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) has recently implemented alternative learning materials through open educational resources (OERs). Published by UniSQ in 2021, the ‘Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology’ is an opensource, online textbook provided as a supplementary resource for students undertaking first-year anatomy and physiology courses. To investigate student satisfaction and the overall usefulness of implementing this textbook into undergraduate courses, responses to a student feedback survey were analysed. The main themes that emerged from the qualitative feedback included 1. increased student accessibility to course information, 2. improved tertiary education affordability, 3. enhanced course content comprehension, 4. provisioned student agency and choice to interact with formats that best suited the student learning context and 5. overall was rated as a beneficial and useful resource. Although the majority of students who responded to the survey (56%) did not have any negative perceptions about the online textbook per se, there were two negative response themes that emerged regarding the user interface and internet connectivity. Further evaluation regarding retention rates and overall achievement remains to be addressed.