Upcoming Events

ALPA 2023 Summit

Planning for the upcoming ALPA 2023 Summit is underway! We are excited to see you this year, whether you’ve been here since the beginning, or are just joining us now! We have the announcement that this year’s Summit will be held in-person at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, on Thursday, May 25th, 2023. We hope that you can join us!

The Summit is completely free, and will be held from 8:30am-4:00pm.

Featured speakers include Heather Blicher of Virginia Tech, Jeff Seaman of Bay View Analytics, Dr. Nicole Pfannenstiel of Millersville University, Richard Hershman of the National Association of College Stores, Brian Andrew Young of Cornell University Retail Sales, Cheryl (Cuillier) Casey of University of Arizona, and Emily Bongiovanni of Carnegie Mellon University.

Keynote speakers will be available via Zoom.

Local accommodations include: the Penn Stater Hotel; Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, State College; Hilton Garden Inn, State College; and Hyatt Place, State College. A block of hotel rooms has not been secured. Please be sure to make your own hotel arrangements if you wish to stay overnight.

Thank you again for your support, and we can’t wait to see you!

Please register here if you are interested in attending!

Included session information will be listed below as it becomes available.

What We’re Learning From Open Education and Related Survey Data

Session description: 

This presentation reviews the level of awareness of open license course materials among higher education teachers and administrators, using data collected from national surveys conducted from 2017 through 2022. The results show that the factors that drive the awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education are changing. Changes in teaching and learning brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the newly adopted strategies that emerged because of the pandemic have drastically altered the landscape. The presentation will examine these changes and speculate on what they mean for the future of OER adoption and use.

Presenter Bios:

Dr. Jeff Seaman has been conducting research in the impact of technology on higher education and K-12 for over a decade, beginning with comprehensive national studies of technology use in U.S. Higher Education. He has taught social science, information technology and statistics at several colleges and universities, including Cornell University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Babson College. Dr. Seaman created and ran the Computing Resource Center and served as Associate Vice Provost for Computing for the University of Pennsylvania and as Chief Information Officer for Lesley University. His industry experience includes serving as Chief Technology Officer at where he led the development of an online learning system for high schools and as the Vice President of Engineering for Vista Associates where he led the engineering team in building course management systems. Dr. Seaman holds degrees in Demography/Statistics, Sociology, Electrical Engineering, and Housing and has served on academic technology advisory boards for a number of information technology companies including Apple Computer, IBM, and Microsoft.

Dr. Julia Seaman has extensive experience in survey research as well as competitive intelligence and translational research. In addition to her work at Bay View Analytics, Dr. Seaman’s projects include publishing on statistical practices in ASQ, and consulting for several biotechnology start-ups. Dr. Seaman earned her doctorate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacogenomics from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). After completing her PhD, she moved into healthcare consulting, working with leading biotechnology companies as a strategy and competitive intelligence partner for four years before transitioning to Director of Research at Bay View Analytics. She currently concentrates on statistical and survey analysis projects in scientific and educational research.

Going Flat Fee: What You Need to Know About a New Model for Textbook Affordability

Session description:

Higher education institutions and their instructors are gaining access to new course materials products and models aimed at making textbooks more affordable. While equitable access or flat-fee pricing programs can lower the costs to students, librarians do want to learn more about how they work and their potential impact on institutional programs to promote open and other zero-cost course materials. This panel session will share information about trends in independent bookstore operations and practices, how two university bookstores implemented an equitable access program and how it works and how librarians can work cooperatively with their bookstore colleagues to engage with these new programs and models – starting with better understanding how they work.

Presenter bio:

Brian Young is the Academic Materials Manager at Cornell University where he helped launch an equitable access program for undergraduate students during the fall 2022 term. This flat-fee program, called the Cornell Academic Materials Program (CAMP), recently finished its second semester with an average program opt in of 68% between the two terms.

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Past Events/Recordings

Dealing with Inclusive & Equitable Access Programs

Bob Butterfield and Cheryl (Cuillier) Casey, who co-authored talking points about inclusive access (automatic billing) for the Open Education Network, provided an update on the landscape for course materials (including the new “Equitable Access” model), including a discussion of new resources available, the pros and cons of automatic billing, and strategies for working with campus partners.

A recording of the event is now available. A list of additional resources from the event is also available.

Demonstrating Value: ROI for Affordable Materials Initiatives

Communicating the value of library subscribed eBook matching and OER adoption programs are key for cultivating campus support. John Banionis, Metrics and Assessment Librarian, Villanova University, shared his approach to developing, refining and communicating quantitative return on investment for library subscribed ebook course materials and OERs adopted.

A recording of the event is now available.

ALPA Webinar: A Home for Your OER

University of Pittsburgh’s Director of Scholarly Communication Lauren Collister and Open Education Librarian Marnie Hampton shared best practices for preparing to share your OER, selecting the best repository for your work, and tracking your OER’s use.

A recording of the event is now available. Slides from the event are also available.

WeBWork Workshop for Math Faculty

WeBWorK is an online homework system developed by the Mathematical Association of America that is free to students.  In this workshop, math professors Brian Kronenthal, Ph.D. and Brooks Emerick, Ph.D of Kutztown University demonstrated the features and capabilities of WeBWorK so that attendees can determine whether it might be a good fit for their classes.

A recording of the event is now available.

Third Annual Affordable Learning PA Summit: Journeys to Affordability

The Affordable Learning Summit is an annual opportunity for librarians, faculty, and others to collaborate on building a network dedicated to making higher education in Pennsylvania more accessible and affordable. The theme for the 2021 Summit was Journeys to Affordability.

Please visit and register to view recordings.

The 2021 ALPA Summit included keynote talks from Jeff Gallant at Affordable Learning Georgia and Alexis Clifton of SUNY Geneseo, as well as panels and presentations on a range of topics related to open and affordable education.

Pressbooks: yOER Publishing Platform

Sarah Simpson, Sales Executive at Pressbooks, demonstrated how to use the Pressbooks Directory to search and discover content, and showcase how to contribute to the OER ecosystem without writing a book from scratch. She described the Pressbooks platform, subscription models, and how Pressbooks can be used on an institutional level to facilitate adoption, creation, and adaption of OER and courseware.

A recording of this event is now available.

Textbook Remix: An Introduction to LibreTexts for OER Editing

So, you’ve found an open textbook that you really like, but it’s not quite right for your class? LibreTexts might be the answer! Join us for this informal webinar to learn a little more about this online platform designed for customizing and distributing open textbooks. From Gettysburg College, Scholarly Communications Librarian Mary Elmquist will provide an introduction to the platform, its structure and features, and Dr. Alice Brawley Newlin, Assistant Professor of Management, will speak on her ongoing experiences using LibreTexts to edit and implement an open textbook for a Statistical Methods course.

A recording of the event is now available

Presenters: Mary Elmquist (she/they) is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Musselman Library, Gettysburg College. Their work in the Library involves management of Gettysburg’s institutional repository, The Cupola, as well as support for textbook affordability and open education initiatives at the College. In summer 2019, Mary led an informal webinar for Gettysburg College instructors detailing the basics of editing OER in LibreTexts; a recording of the session is publicly available in The Cupola.

Alice Brawley Newlin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at Gettysburg College, where she teaches several sections of Introductory Statistics each year. Alice moved from a required pair of paid textbooks for this course to an edited open-access textbook in fall of 2020. In addition to working with the LibreTexts platform, Alice has particular experience with coordinating this change with a colleague who teaches the course, too; what to consider when importing OER from outside of the LibreTexts; and shifting to a mindset and process of continual improvement when using OER.

So you want to publish an OER: A Conversation about the Basics

Creating and publishing an openly licensed educational resource can seem daunting at first, but it needn’t be. In this session Chris Barnes, Scholarly Communications Librarian at F&M and co-chair of the ALPA OER Publishing & Repositories Working Group, will run a very informal webinar on the basics of creating, licensing, and publishing a new OER.

An Introduction to Pressbooks and its Applications for OER

This session will introduce participants to Pressbooks, an authoring platform that can be used for OER projects. Attendees will explore features of Pressbooks, view examples created by instructors, recognize ways that Pressbooks can be used to enhance projects through interactivity, and explore open pedagogy applications of the tool. This session is appropriate for those who are interested in learning more about authoring OER platforms, are creating and/or modifying an OER, or are supporting the creation and/or modification of an OER. Participants can create a free Pressbooks account if they wish to explore the tool prior to the webinar.

Strange Bedfellows? OER and the Campus Bookstore

Unsure about how to approach your campus bookstore? Register below to view a recorded panel discussion on engaging and working with your bookstore in conjunction with your OER efforts
Our panel included librarians and bookstore employees from a variety of PA schools and representing multiple bookstore models.  

Affordable Learning Summit – September 9-25, 2020

The Affordable Learning Summit is an annual opportunity for librarians, faculty, and others to collaborate on building a network dedicated to making higher education more accessible and affordable. The theme for this year’s Summit was Advocate PA: Getting the Word Out about OER. Recordings from the 2020 Summit are available by registering at

Online Event Planning with Student Partners

Once you’ve started working with students the first test is often co-hosting an event. Students and staff have skills, resources, and access that compliment each other to create a better event than if it were planned individually. At the same time, there are often challenges to pulling off a successful event- poor planning, over planning, goal setting, or anxieties around shared responsibility. Participants will be able to co-plan a survey collection table, set goals, and use the table to build visibility for their overall program. We are excited to again welcome Cailyn Nagle, the director of US PIRG’s Open Textbooks Campaign for the second in a series of three events designed to help you build strong working relationships with student partners on your campus.


  • Goal setting
  • Backwards planning
  • Building a buzz about your event
  • Identifying strengths and roles
  • Follow up planning
  • Troubleshooting common issues

Trainer Bio: Cailyn Nagle serves as the U.S. PIRG Affordable Textbook campaign director, working to expand the use of open textbooks by empowering students and building a diverse coalition of students, staff, and faculty. In their past role with the Student PIRGs at the UCLA and UC Riverside campuses, Cailyn organized on issues ranging from renewable energy to fighting hunger on campus.

Getting Started with Student Governments

Student governments, as representatives of the student body, have a significant impact on campus communities. Building partnerships with SGA’s can add student perspectives and expertise to an OER initiative, as well as multiply the program’s reach. Establishing a relationship can have its hurdles. Participants will walk away with the tools to kickstart a working relationship early in the school year and maintain that relationship into the future. 


  • Learn the function and structure of student government 
  • Best practices for establishing a relationship
  • Working with committees 
  • Getting on the schedule
  • Having a first meeting 
  • Tips for maintaining a relationship 

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the best SGA representative for their project
  • Develop an outline for an introductory email, first meeting agenda, and public comment 

Spring 2020 Eastern PA Regional OER Workshop

Affordable Learning PA invites you to attend an Eastern Pennsylvania Regional OER Workshop Day hosted by Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA on Friday, March 6 (the last day of Open Education Week!).  Organized by the Affordable Learning PA OER Specialists from Bucks County Community College, Kutztown University, and Luzerne County Community College, the Workshop Day is free, including registration, beverages and lunch, and features speakers from the Eastern PA region and beyond.  The full schedule is available below. If you can’t make the trip to Bucks attendance via Zoom will be available.

ALPA Eastern Pennsylvania Regional OER Workshop Day Agenda

2019 OER Summit

Affordable Learning PA and Penn State University hosted the first Open Educational Resources (OER) Summit on August 9th, 2019. The theme of the event was “Building Community,” and more than 100 attended from across the state and beyond. The Summit allowed librarians, faculty, and others to collaborate on building a network dedicated to making higher education more accessible and affordable.

The day featured keynote presentations by Amy Hofer, Coordinator, Statewide Open Education Library Services for Oregon and Anne Osterman, Director of VIVA, as well as concurrent sessions, posters, and lightning talks by PA OER practitioners.