Affordable Learning Champions

Affordable Learning PA (ALPA) is accepting nominations for “Affordable Learning Champions” to recognize outstanding work or efforts in open and affordable learning. Affordable Learning Champions can include faculty, librarians, instructional designers, students, staff, or anyone promoting or supporting affordable learning.

What qualifies as open and affordable resources? Affordable resources are zero-cost or low-cost to students, as compared to more costly, commercially published textbooks. Zero-cost materials may include no-cost online materials (such as government reports or data sets) and library-licensed materials (such as eBooks or videos purchased by the library for campus-wide use). Open Educational Resources (OER) are completely free to access online and also free of most copyright restrictions, meaning it’s legal to copy, share, edit, mix, keep and use those materials. 

Some examples of open and affordable support might be:

  • Contributing to cost savings and/or an increase in OER use through creation, promotion, and adoption of OER
  • Planning and coordinating workshops and information sessions to promote awareness of OER materials 
  • Advocating for open and affordable programs to decrease the financial burden on students
  • Talking to students and/or student organizations about open and affordable resources
  • Creating and supporting other faculty to develop open pedagogy assignments that eliminate the need for commercial textbooks
  • Serving in a leadership capacity on an institutional level textbook affordability committee
  • Conducting research that promotes the advantages of adopting open and affordable learning materials

To nominate an Affordable Learning Champion, please fill out the form. Self-nominations are welcome. You and/or your nominee may be contacted for more details. Your nomination form will be shared with the nominee.

2021-2022 Champions

Name: Dr. Brian Kronenthal

Title: Associate Professor of Mathematics

Institution: Kutztown University

Notable contributions to Affordable Learning: Dr. Kronenthal has been using Open Educational Resources in his Calculus and Abstract Algebra classes since fall 2019. He also participated in the UTMOST Project to assist in researching student use of a designated OER and promotes open source platforms like WeBWorK to his colleagues.

Why is supporting Affordable Learning and the use of open resources important to you? Supporting affordable learning is important to me as a way of helping students succeed.  By using zero-cost or low-cost materials, students have access from the first day of class and are less likely to fall behind.  Moreover, they can use the money they save to purchase materials for their other classes, thereby enhancing their overall potential for academic success.

Name: Christina Riehman-Murphy

Title: Sally W. Kalin Librarian for Learning Innovations and Reference & Instruction Librarian

Institution: Penn State University – Abington Campus Library

Notable contributions to Affordable Learning: A grant-funded OAER adoption program, the Affordable Course Content Faculty Fellowship (ACCFF), at Penn State University’s Abington campus, which has saved 726 students in 17 courses  $78,000 in the first instances of the adoption of materials. 

Why is supporting Affordable Learning and the use of open resources important to you? For students to succeed in school they need to have their basic needs met and they need access to their course materials. Open resources make this possible while also allowing for students and instructors to open up their pedagogy by sharing knowledge with the much larger public.