The Open & Affordable Education Committee is a cross-campus group working to support the use of free and low-cost resources and innovative teaching practices in the classroom. We accomplish this by promoting open & affordable course material options, encouraging faculty innovation, and empowering our faculty to adopt, adapt, and create open educational resources by providing grants and training opportunities.
An overview of our work's impact for 2019 can be seen in our OAEC Report Summary Brochure [pdf].
The major representatives of our partnership include:
- Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT)
- ISU Book Store
- Office of the Senior Vice President & Provost
- Student Government
- University Library
We understand that Open Educational Resources might not be the best fit for every course. OAEC encourages faculty to select resources that maintain excellent teaching and learning outcomes. These solutions may include both free and low-cost resources. Our committee currently supports a variety of initiatives:
Course Affordability Initiatives
|Immediate Access||Course Reserves||Open Educational Resources|
You can read more about these affordable course content initiatives in our brochures collaboratively developed by the ISU Book Store and University Library or on the Provost's Course Content Affordability website.
Why Open & Affordable Course Materials?
College textbook prices increased by 87.5% from 2006 to 2016, over four times the rate of inflation for all other items in the Consumer Price Index. This unprecedented growth in prices has made it difficult for many students to purchase all of their required course materials. A study from Florida Virtual Campus [pdf] has shown that when textbooks are prohibitively expensive, students will:
- Locate illegally uploaded copies of course materials online
- Not purchase required course materials
- Buy an outdated edition of a required textbook
- Refrain from purchasing required course materials
The choices students make when they cannot afford course materials can negatively impact their ability to succeed in a course. By encouraging the use of free and low-cost materials in the classroom, OAEC hopes to decrease the number of students unable to purchase their required materials and increase the number of students excelling in their studies at Iowa State.
As part of the Open Education Network, we affirm their Guiding Principles to support the common good, equity, inclusivity, action, humanity, integrity, and shared abundance in education.
2020-21 Committee Members
|Elder, Abbey||University Library (Chair)|
|Dean, Heather||ISU Book Store (Co-Chair)|
|Brundy, Curtis||University Library|
|Campbell, Julia||Student Government|
|Inefuku, Harrison||University Library|
|Johnson, Roberta||Financial Aid|
|Paulson, Christopher||Student Government|
|Wiley, Cyndi||Digital Accessibility|
If you are interested in joining the committee for the 2020-21 academic year, please contact Abbey Elder, the Committee Chair.
The Open & Affordable Education Committee was provided with an official charge by Provost Wickert in 2019: OAEC_Charge [pdf]