Kent State University's Affordable Learning Initiatives

Kent State UniversityDepartments and Centers across the University are working together in creative ways to provide course materials at no or low-cost for our students while maintaining both quality of content and academic freedom.  With support from the Provost’s Office, partners in these efforts include Regional Campuses, Colleges, Schools, Departments and their embedded instructional designers, the Office of Continuing and Distance Education (OCDE), Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Student Accessibility Services (SAS), Barnes & Noble Kent State University Bookstore, as well as the University Libraries (UL).

  • Advocacy Initiatives: UL hosted an Affordable Course Materials Summit on Friday, November 3, 2017. Aimed at faculty interested in learning more about affordable learning, this event brought together services across the university with faculty who have implemented affordable materials for a day-long conversation. Faculty presenters shared a variety of first-hand experiences from OpenStax to writing their own textbooks to “Backward Design” of courses. Academic freedom was also a topic of discussion.

    Workshops offered through KSU’s Tech Help Technology Training include Kaltura, video editing, PDF accessibility compliance, closed captioning, and copyright basics.
  • Alternative Textbook Programs: Subject Librarians work with faculty as well as instructional designers to identify quality affordable resources that can be used in both face-to-face and online courses. Resources include Open Educational Resources and other open access materials as well as materials licensed through UL and OhioLINK and comprise images, video, speech, music, text, and interactive content. Subject Librarians can help connect faculty to connect with services as well, including: Copyright Services, Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan, KSU’s Institutional Repository, and Reserve Services, which includes electronic reserves delivered through Ares.
  • Textbook Affordability Initiatives: In the Core Textbooks on Reserve (CTR) program, UL provides access to print textbooks for short-term use through course reserves. Supported by the UL Collections budget, the following criteria are used for inclusion: 1) the course is a basic requirement of the degree program, or is a general undergraduate course requirement referred to as Kent Core Curriculum, 2) the course has multiple sections, 3) the course has high enrollment, and 4) the textbook is expensive. UL uses the Registrar’s online system to identify titles that meet program criteria. UL is seeking input from faculty to expand the CTR criteria.

    The Kent State University Barnes and Noble Bookstore offers its BNED Courseware which combines OER and original content developed by faculty for select courses, along with LoudCloud learning analytics for improving learning outcomes and student retention.
  • Adoption Initiatives: OpenStax textbooks have been adopted for several courses including: Economics (including Micro and Macro), Introduction to Sociology, College Physics (Algebra), and University Physics (Calculus).
Contact Information: Cindy Kristof, Head of Copyright and Document Services, Kent State University Libraries, 1125 Risman Drive, 330-672-1641,