Various institutions of learning throughout the nation are leading curation efforts to discover OER, high-quality and openly licensed educational materials that can be shared, revised and reused. In 2010, the Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) Initiative was launched at a large university system which is comprised of 23 campuses; 460,000 students and 47,000 faculty and staff. AL$ enables faculty to choose and provide more affordable, quality educational content for their students (Dulaney, 2014 par 5). In addition, this university system also has access to more than 45,000 free instructional materials provided through MERLOT– Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching, which is also accessed by more than 500 universities and colleges.
Last year, state Senate Bill 1053 (Public postsecondary education: California Digital Open Source Library), was passed. This bill recognizes the university system as a leader in developing an online library of free textbooks for the 23-campus system as well as other public university systems and community colleges in the state. (Dulaney, 2014 par 29). And with the signing of Assembly Bill 798: the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015, the faculty at this university system are now more empowered than ever to expand the use of OER – freely accessible and openly licensed textbooks, course materials, modules, videos, tests and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support open access to knowledge (Thara, 2015 par 2).
Each campus in the university system runs its’ own Affordable Learning Solutions programs. This presentation will feature the successful AL$ program at one of the campuses. Attendees will take away ideas on how to integrate low-cost or open source materials into their courses. More importantly, attendees will learn how an inclusive AL$ module can lead to a more successful integration and adoption of OER.
Dulaney, Josh. (August 20, 2014). “Cal State University system tackles escalating textbook costs”. Long Beach Press Telegram.
PR Newswire. (February 11, 2015). “Nation’s Largest Free and Low-Cost Textbook Showcase Launches at 13 California State University Libraries”. PR Newswire.
Thara, Stephanie. (October 8, 2015). “Legislative win increases textbook affordability by tapping into the talent of CSU faculty”. Public Affairs.