Education can't be excellent if students aren't fully equipped. The cost of textbooks shouldn’t be a limiting factor to their success, especially when high quality open and affordable alternatives to conventional, high cost textbooks exist. 

The Affordable Learning Exchange was created to help instructors take ownership of their courses and content. We are here to help navigate the waters of affordable resources and find creative solutions that promote students savings. This includes re-imagining the textbook, encouraging faculty innovation, and empowering our faculty through grants and training opportunities to adopt, adapt, create and share open educational resources.

On the Columbus campus ...

  • 81% of students apply for some form of federal student aid
  • 26% of resident undergraduate students qualify for a Pell Grant

Many students who receive this aid find that these funds are exhausted on tuition, room and board. A large number don't receive any aid at all. Unfortunately, textbooks and classroom materials sometimes become discretionary items for these students. Many wait to purchase books, or never buy them at all.

ALX funds projects that help bridge this gap while promoting excellent pedagogy and maintaining ownership of teaching and learning tools with the experts - Ohio State's world-class faculty.

A Partnership

We can save students millions of dollars by utilizing our combined expertise in digital pedagogy, instructional design, marketing, training and strategic partnerships across campus. The ALX partnership includes

We're hard at work developing opportunities to fund faculty in exploring open and affordable alternatives. Join us to reimagine teaching and learning materials like textbooks, lab manuals, assigned readings and more. 


ALX can help bridge the affordability gap and improve student learning experiences by reducing, and in some cases eliminating, textbook and classroom materials costs.

Our first cohort includes projects that will transform 17 courses from across the university. Collectively, these projects will save Ohio State students close to $1 Million on course materials during their first year of implementation. Our second RFP opens this fall.

Read more about Ohio State's focus on access, affordability and excellence in President Drake's 2020 Vision.

Affordable Solutions

One size does not fit all. We encourage faculty to select resources that maintain the excellent teaching and learning experiences students expect at Ohio State. Because of this, solutions sometimes include both free and low-cost resources. A range of scenarios apply:

  • Adoption of an open textbook, supplemented by a low-cost homework system
  • A department-authored textbook sold at 1/4 the price of the conventional (expensive!) equivalent
  • Switch to 100% free, online readings in the public domain

Each approach embraces multiple pathways and creative solutions. Combining OERs, low cost tools, and homegrown resources toward a common goal: reduce the financial burden on our students while delivering excellence.



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RFP OpensSelection ProcessPlanning and DesignImplementation


September 2016November 2016January 2017August 2017
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APRIL 2017November 2017January 2018August 2018
RFP OpensSelection Process       Planning and Design        Implementation


ALX pairs excellence with affordability at Ohio State through grants, research, and faculty outreach.

  • Impacting hundreds of faculty across all OSU campuses with grant and learning opportunities
  • Saving students nearly $1 Million (and counting) by the end of 2017
  • Contribution to a local and global discussion of OER and student affordability
  • Establishing a strong Affordable Learning brand that reaches beyond Ohio State
  • Enabling research on student engagement and outcomes with OERs and other affordable learning tools