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Affordable Learning Ohio

Otterbein University's Affordable Learning Initiatives

Otterbein UniversityMany voices across campus have come together to address issues of textbook affordability. Representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Business Affairs, the Office of Social Justice & Activism, the Library, Center for Community Engagement, Student Government, and the Center for Teaching and Learning have all participated in this process.

Advocacy

  • Presentations that address the current issue of textbook costs on Otterbein’s campus
  • Workshops from the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Library research guide to promote Open Education Resources (http://otterbein.libguides.com/oer )
  • Participation, through OhioLINK, in the Open Textbook Network (OTN)

What we are doing:

  • Textbook support: In consultation with the bookstore, we were able to determine what materials were “high cost, high enrollment.” The Friends of the Courtright Memorial Library have identified textbooks as a fundraising mission. This group, made up of alumni, staff, faculty, and community members, have purchased copies of textbooks which are available on course reserve in the library. This is an ongoing mission, and the goal is to create an endowment which allows the library to continue these efforts into perpetuity.
  • Release of funds: Otterbein made a procedural change to make financial aid funds available earlier in the semester to support students’ ability to obtain their class material.
  • Textbook Review: Through Academic Affairs and the Faculty Scholars Development Committee, Otterbein is reviewing online materials offered by the OTN. This process is incentivized to encourage the adoption of works reviewed by faculty.
  • Support adoption: Librarians work with faculty to find and identify curated content that may be used for classroom instruction. This content may be already licensed or available as open source, and is used to reduce reliance on more expensive textbooks.

Future directions:

  • Textbook Exchange: Student Government, in partnership with the library and the Center for Community Engagement, are looking to develop an online and physical location for textbook swaps or purchases.
  • Support Creation: Academic Affairs is exploring ways to support the development of internal course materials that would be available for the Otterbein community.
Contact Information: Further details, questions, or for other correspondence reach out to Allen Reichert, Electronic Access Librarian, Otterbein University, preichert@otterbein.edu, 614-823-1164