Affordable Course Content Happenings @ ODU

Knowing that, for many, the cost of college is becoming prohibitive, a movement has sprung up at Old Dominion University and across the country that advocates for Open Educational Resources (OER) and Affordable Course Content (ACC), both of which have the potential to drive down the cost of education for students and parents.

In September, the Office of Academic Affairs sponsored a faculty forum on the topic of ACC where conversations took place about how ODU faculty and staff can make course materials more affordable for students. The Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) also began offering faculty mini-grants to implement OER into their courses, and will be hosting the 2017 Faculty Summer Institute on the topic of OER, with David Wiley, a well-known expert on the topic, as the keynote speaker.

Through the Virtual Library of Virginia, the ODU Libraries have recently become a member of the Open Textbook Network, an organization that trains campus leaders to provide educational workshops for faculty on topics related to OER. Last fall, the Libraries and the Center for High Impact Practices hosted a workshop on the Open Textbook Network, where faculty learned about the impacts of textbook costs on students and about how to find ACC for their courses.

Old Dominion University is also developing partnerships throughout the region to help Hampton Roads residents get a great education at an affordable cost. Old Dominion, Tidewater Community College and Kempsville High School recently received $140,000 through SCHEV's Affordable Pathways Partnership Grant Awards. This grant will be used to develop a program that will offer students a path from the high school's Entrepreneurship and Business Academy through dual-enrollment in TCC's business and entrepreneurship program to ODU's leadership major. It will use affordable course content rather than traditional textbooks to eliminate textbook costs for students.

To celebrate Open Education Week (March 27-31) the ODU Libraries are collaborating with SGA, CLT, and CHIP on a series of events that will take place throughout the week. A display will feature OpenSTAX textbooks, provided by SGA, for faculty and students to browse throughout the week, as well as other OER and ACC materials. The display will be located on the first floor of Perry Library. On March 28, from 12-2, there will be a services fair in Webb Center, where students can tell their stories about their experiences with dealing with textbooks costs at ODU and can receive information from CHIP, CLT, and the Libraries about free resources that are available to assist them with their studies. On Thursday, March 30, the Libraries and CHIP will host an Open Textbook Network & Affordable Course Content Workshop for faculty. Email Lucy Rush ( to register.

To learn more about the OER resources available at Old Dominion University, visit the ODU Libraries Open Educational Resources and Affordable Course Content Library Guide. If you've successfully implemented OER in a class, please share your success story with us! Email your story to Lucy Rush,