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Affordable Learning @ Cleveland State University

Making higher education more affordable for our students, together.

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  • Affordable Learning at CSU.
  • Audience at OpenCon 2020.
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  • Affordable Learning at CSU.

Cleveland State University’s Affordable Learning initiative is a University-wide collaboration focused on making learning more affordable for students, while also promoting pedagogical innovation and improved student outcomes Often, this work involves promoting, adopting, and creating and publishing open educational resources, but also includes other affordability efforts.

Teamwork is essential to the success of this goal. Campus departments involved in this affordability initiative include the Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library, Center for eLearning, Center for Faculty Excellence, Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, and Student Government Association, among others, all working in partnership with the Open Textbook Network and OhioLINK.

    Our Goals

    • To lower the costs of course materials (especially textbooks) for CSU students.
    • To maintain or improve student outcomes with low- or no-cost course materials.
    • To encourage the creation of open educational resources for the benefit of educators both at CSU and beyond.

What is an Open Educational Resource (OER)?

Traditional scholarly publishing is often hidden behind technical, legal, or financial barriers or paywalls, even when it is publicly funded. OERs - open access textbooks and course materials - are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

According to UNESCO, which coined the term "open educational resource" in 2002, an OER is "any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation."

In addition to saving students money, these freely available resources can be modified and updated freely, giving faculty more flexibility and choice in the way they deliver their class material. Many institutions and grant foundations have seen the value of OERs and provided financial backing for their creation, leading to an exponential growth in their availability in the last five to ten years. See examples of OERs by visiting the Open Textbook Library, the OER Commons, or by exploring our research guides, linked below.

Want to get started now?

Authoring Open Textbooks by Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen and published by the Open Textbook Network provides faculty authors with everything they need to get started with their own open textbooks.

OhioLINK Affordable Learning Ohio Initiative

OhioLINK recently initiated a series of projects, collectively called Affordable Learning Ohio, to lower the cost of college for Ohio higher education students. The projects explored by this initiative include the following:

Don't hesitate to contact your personal librarian with questions about the Affordable Learning Ohio initiative or how CSU is collaborating with OhioLINK on this effort!

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