Introduction to Affordable Learning Ohio

Introduction to Affordable Learning Ohio

Affordable Learning Ohio is OhioLINK's series of initiatives to lower the cost of college for Ohio higher education students by assisting our member libraries and campuses in identifying strategies for Open and Affordable Learning textbook and course material adoption, and helping locate statewide shareable library materials as well as open educational resources that are no cost or lower cost to students.  If you have any questions about Affordable Learning Ohio, please contact Anna Bendo at

Affordable Learning Initiatives

Affordable Learning Initiatives look to reduce costs for students by substituting low-cost or no-cost resources in place of high-price commercial textbooks. Examples include:

  • Using existing Open Educational Resources (OER) for course instruction and/or modifying/enhancing existing resources.
  • Creating OER that can be used by students you are teaching or by other instructors or scholars.
  • Using library-licensed materials, including books, eBooks, and electronic journal and magazine articles for course instruction, or making use of library physical and electronic reserves. These materials have already been purchased by libraries or institutions, but are no additional cost to students.
  • Institutional efforts to negotiate across-the-board lower costs for traditionally-published textbooks and materials, otherwise known as Inclusive Access or First Day Access. 

What is an Open Educational Resource (OER)?

The term Open Educational Resource (OER) was coined during the Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries that was convened by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in association with the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET) and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Paris, France July 1-2, 2002. In the 15 years since, the OER movement has seen steady growth and has helped to promote “wide access to quality higher education in developing countries and full participation of universities in these countries in the rapidly evolving world higher education system” (UNESCO, 2002).

The Hewlett Foundation defines OER as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.” Other definitions of OER exist and, generally, they identify three primary components; learning materials that are freely available and licensed in a way that enable their reuse by users.

Learn More

Below you'll find links to tools and resources that provide additional information on Open Educational Resources and Affordable Learning Initiatives.


Affordable learning initiatives led by library consortia



Latest News

Read Wittenberg University's article: Professors Leverage OhioLINK benefits to Save Students Money

Watch OhioLINK Affordable Learning Ambassador Workshops

Access, Affordability, and Academic Success
Kettering College
Anna Bendo & Joe Nowakowski


OhioLINK OER Lunch & Learn for Writing Faculty and Instructors
Anna Bendo & Pam Ratvasky

Read a "Recipe" for Creating a Statewide Team of Affordable Learning Advocates

Anna Bendo, Mandi Goodsett, Mary Hricko, and Joe Nowakowski have contributed to ALA's Scholarly Communications Cookbook. They wrote a chapter entitled, "Whip Up a Statewide Team of Affordable Learning Ambassadors," which details their efforts to build statewide affordable learning initiatives through workshops, advocacy, and communication. You can check out the book in ALA's store here or you can find it through your library here.

Read Scholarly Kitchen article: An Update to OhioLINK's Affordable Textbooks Initiative

Gwen Evans, Executive Director of OhioLINK, published an update on OhioLINK's Affordable Textbooks Initiative in the Scholarly Kitchen. Read it here.

Read Collaborative Librarianship article: Making a Collaborative Commitment to Affordability for Students

Anna Bendo and Gwen Evans had an article published in Collaborative Librarianship. "OhioLINK’s Affordable Learning Initiatives – Making a Collaborative Commitment to Affordability for Students.