The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape how we teach and learn, and for thousands of OHIO students, that has meant saving money on course materials. Over the past academic year, instructors of over 900 course sections have enrolled in OIT's Digital Course Materials program, an increase of 42 percent. Since summer 2018, the program has made thousands of OHIO students’ course materials available to them on the very first day of classes—and saved them an estimated $4.49 million in the process.
As part of Ohio University’s Affordable Learning Content initiative—a cross-departmental collaboration between University Libraries, the Office of Instructional Innovation (OII), and the Office of Information Technology (OIT)—the Digital Course Materials program continues to provide seamless access to discounted learning materials to students on the first day of classes.
Part of a multipronged affordability effort
Ohio University launched a taskforce in 2016 in response to Governor Kasich’s affordability and efficiency requirements. Three focus areas emerged, including promotion of library content, introduction of the inclusive access model, and promotion of the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs). These areas would not only support affordable learning content for students, but also continue to support faculty’s choice of course content, which drives all textbook decisions.
- Library content: The University Libraries offers a variety of services to help instructors identify low-cost materials for their courses.
- Inclusive access: The Digital Content Program provides discounted publisher content for students. Students receive digital content on the first day of classes within OHIO’s learning management system, Blackboard Learn. The program leverages several commercial publisher contracts negotiated by OhioLINK as part of the Inclusive Access Initiative. In addition, a third-party partnership manages the course content opt-out process within Blackboard Learn, as well as the publisher billing process, at no cost to the University.
- OERs: There are many resources to help you identify and adopt free and low-cost Open Educational Resources:
- Workshops hosted by the Office of Instructional Innovation and University Libraries can help you get started:
- Vendors such as Top Hat’s marketplace allow you to browse OERs to include in your course.
Champion course material affordability in your OHIO course
If you currently use or plan to use publisher content in your course, please reach out to the IT Service Desk and request to speak with a Digital Course Materials expert to see if this program is right for you and your students. For more information, try browsing our Digital Course Materials program details and frequently asked questions. If you are already directly working with a publisher representative, let them know you are interested in the program and they can collect your information to coordinate with OIT.