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

Check out Two Recent Workshops given by OhioLINK Affordable Learning Ambassadors

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


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

Calling all Psychology Faculty and Instructors who are interested in or already using OER!

Calling all Psychology Faculty and Instructors who are interested in or already using OER (Open Educational Resources)!


Please attend a brown bag virtual lunch with Anna Bendo (OhioLINK) and Pam Ratvasky (Ohio Open Ed Collaborative Instructional Designer) where we discuss OER resources, update our OER Commons collection for psychology, and learn how to add resources to the OhioLINK Open Course Content Library. Hear from other faculty who are using OER for psychology and lessons learned when making the switch. 


November 16th, 2021

12:00pm – 12:45pm 

After you register, a link will be sent to the online meeting room. 


Please register here.


Questions: Anna Bendo ( or Pam Ratvasky (


Looking forward to this session!

Bendo and other AL Ambassadors Publish 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.

Check out Evans' new 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. Check it out here

Bendo and Evans publish Affordable Learning article

Anna Bendo and Gwen Evans had an article published in the newest issue of Collaborative Librarianship. "OhioLINK’s Affordable Learning Initiatives – Making a Collaborative Commitment to Affordability for Students." Check it out for more information on what OhioLINK has been up to for the last few years in Affordable Learning.