Affordable Learning @ Cleveland State University
Making higher education more affordable for our students, together.
In partnership with the Open Textbook Network and OhioLINK, Cleveland State University’s Affordable Learning initiative is committed to collaborating to make learning more affordable for students, while also promoting pedagogical innovation and improved student outcomes. Often, this work involves promoting, adopting, and creating 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, Law Library, Center for eLearning, Center for Faculty Excellence, Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, and Student Government Association, among others.
- 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)?
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:
- A-Z Affordable Learning Database: Listing of resources available both via OhioLINK licensing and as open educational resources.
- Affordable Learning Ohio Campus Initiatives Guide: A guide to the variety of affordability initiatives happening on campuses throughout Ohio.
- OhioLINK Affordable Learning Ambassadors: A team of librarians, instructional designers, faculty, and administrators throughout Ohio who serve as resources for those interested in helping their campuses explore open educational resources.
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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