Affordable Learning Opportunities look to reduce costs for students by substituting low-cost or no-cost resources in place of commercial textbooks. The scope of material used can be wider than just OER materials. Examples include:
Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) has launched an affordable learning initiative called South Carolina Affordable Learning (SCALE). Jackson Library is teaming up with them to help cut higher education costs for our students by helping you to find and adopt affordable course materials. Learn more about SCALE's programs and resources on their website.
Open Educational Resources (OER), which are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. They include a multitude of formats, including textbooks, full courses, modules, videos, labs, assignments, and assessments.
Students save money: Lander University's estimated cost for textbooks and supplies is $1200. This is in line with national averages which continue to increase at a staggering rate.
Pedagogical freedom: Faculty can add, remove, and modify content to fit their classroom rather than having an expensive textbook dictate topics and order.
Immediate and lasting access: Resources can be accessed immediately, retained, and returned to again and again.
OER are licensed in such a way that enables adopters to utilize the 5 Rs:
Retain a copy of the content
Reuse the content in a range of ways
Revise the content as needed
Remix original or revised content with other material
Redistribute the original, revisions, and remixes with others
Creative Commons licenses are often applied to OER to license these rights to adopters.