Thirteen Projects Greenlit Through the Affordable Learning Exchange Grants

The Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) announced the 13 projects that received its 2016-17 grants. These projects, which span many academic areas, are estimated to save students nearly $400,000 on course materials.

ALX is a cross-campus partnership between University Libraries, the Office of Distance Education and eLearning, Undergraduate Student Government, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching. ALX funds and supports instructors who want to replace their conventional (and sometimes, costly) course materials with open educational resources or other low-cost alternatives.

The three primary grant opportunities are:

  • Affordable Learning Grants (Open Impact Grant or Exploration Grant) 
  • Book Launch Grant 
  • Textbook Affordability Grant 

These grants are designed to support transformational projects that result in high-impact, sustainable cost savings for students. This happens through adopting, adapting or creating open and affordable course materials in courses of all sizes at Ohio State.

Meet the 2016-17 ALX grant recipients and their projects!

Affordable Learning Open Impact Grant

Lisa Raiz and Lois Stepney - College of Social Work

Raiz and Stepney will work together to deliver a combination of openly-licensed materials and library resources that will replace the textbooks in three social work diversity courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Amy Jauch - College of Nursing

Jauch will revamp the RN to BSN nursing program by replacing textbooks in up to six courses by using a combination of instructor-written content, openly-licensed material, and library resources. 

Affordable Learning Exploration Grant

Darcy Hartman – Department of Economics

Hartman will be building on her previous ALX project, leading a team of subject matter experts from partner institutions to develop open assessment tools for macroeconomics.

Ryan Jennings - College of Veterinary Medicine

Jennings will replace a traditional textbook with a digital collection of text-based learning materials generated by instructors, in conjunction with proprietary, annotated images that will be produced using the college’s license for Aperio digital microscopy software.

Mary Sterenberg - School of Communication

Sterenberg will replace a required textbook with a collection of free materials, including, first-person expertise from 8-10 established professionals and videos that explain key course content. 

Book Launch Grant

Mary Faure - Materials and Manufacturing Sustainability

As part of her new proposed course, Faure will develop her own learning materials that will be made available to students in a digital format.

Sree Satyapriya - College of Medicine

Satyapriya will create a digital product to train residents in the College of Medicine and beyond.

Lauren Squires - Department of English

Squires will replace a textbook with materials she has generated over time, including both readings and activities. She also plans to author new material that she will openly license.

Camilla Curren - College of Medicine

Curren will generate savings by creating her own learning materials instead of adopting traditionally-published textbooks for her unit on bias and stereotyping.

Textbook Affordability Grant

Audrey Begun - College of Social Work

Begun will replace her current textbook with a digital library of resources that will be sourced from the public domain as well as the library’s collection for her course.

Mark Rubinstein - School of Music

Rubinstein will replace the textbook in his audio production class with self-authored materials, scripts, and newly developed video content.

Jenny Sheldon - Department of Mathematics

Sheldon will replace the current text with a collection of library resources for her course on the history of mathematics.

Zhiguo Xie - Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

Xie will replace a textbook with openly-licensed texts and videos, and library resources in conjunction with original material based on lecture notes. 

ALX addresses the challenge put forth by President Drake’s 2020 Vision to link affordability, access and excellence in teaching and learning at Ohio State. By replacing costly conventional course materials, students not only save money, but in many cases, instructors also create custom course content and transform the teaching and learning experience in their classrooms.


Did you know that the cost of traditional course materials has risen by 1,041 percent since 1977?

In fact, a typical Ohio State student spends over $1,000 on course materials each year. Here’s what students think about that:

Let’s change this! ALX will be accepting request for proposals starting in the spring for the next cohort of grant recipients. Visit for more information.