Final ALX Cohort to Save Students More Than $300,000

The 2020 ALX Cohort met on January 3 to gather resources and inspiration before diving into their grant projects. The recipients of the Syllabus Review grant will meet next month and begin working to reduce the cost of their course materials.

The latest cohort of Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) grant winners has been selected and will begin their affordability projects this spring. This group of 32 individuals will complete projects for 35 different courses across all Ohio State campuses, and are expected to save students over $300,000! From reimagining textbooks to restructuring entire courses, this group has exciting plans in store. Members of this cohort will be incorporating animations, using open-sourced music and creating lending libraries of tools just to name a few.

New this year, ALX offered a Syllabus Review Grant to help instructors who want to incorporate existing open resources into their courses. Syllabus Review Grant winners have promised to work with Ohio State Libraries to reduce learning material costs by 25%.

Click each name below to learn more about the latest affordability projects at Ohio State:

Andrew Millar - Music (Newark)

Professor Millar plans to replace unwieldy music textbooks with a curated set of open and digital music. Digital presentation allows for linking to additional resources, portability and increased ease of use.

Karen Goodell - Biology (Newark)

Together with a team of instructors and staff from the Newark campus, Professor Goodell will transition her course from textbooks, online homework systems and written lab manuals to a combination of openly-licensed and originally authored material, which will include homework questions, videos and lab exercises.

Adrienne Hopson - Biology (Mansfield)

Professor Hopson will undergo course redesign to center student learning around a case study approach. These case studies will ask students to engage with foundational concepts in new and more interactive ways.

Adithya Jayakumar - Engineering

Over the course of this project, Professor Jayakumar will create a textbook substitute that focuses on problem solving using MATLAB software. This book will be developed with special attention to the difficulty of the material and will be written for students with no previous knowledge of the topics.

Adam Fromme - Design - *2 Courses*

DESIGN 3105 Exploring Design Thinking
Professor Fromme will use his grant winnings to assemble toolkits for his students that will allow them to examine complex, multi-dimensional problems in hands-on ways. Thanks to theses kits, will students spend less every semester on supplies.

DESIGN 3505 Presentation as Thinking
Over the course of the project, Professor Fromme will replace a required textbook with a collection of openly-licensed learning materials.

Peggy Lindsey - English (ATI)

Professor Lindsey plans to replace a series of costly course materials with a carefully curated open textbook and instructor guide. These materials will feature video content that can be shared amongst instructors who teach the course.

Samir Mathur - Physics

Professor Mathur intends to develop a series of online text paired with animations and exercises to instruct students in basic physics courses. The animations will be original and tied specifically to the course material.

Michael Durand - Earth Sciences

In order to replace a required homework system, Professor Durand intends to create a series of interactive homework problems using open source software. These exercises will be authored using various open and library-licensed images and videos.

Jolynn Pek - Psychology

Over the course of this project, Professor Pek will replace a conventionally published textbook with a combination of materials, including originally authored text, free statistical software and custom built-interactive web applications.

Cathy Ryan - English

Professor Ryan intends to redesign her course to center podcasting as the primary student learning materials, allowing students to become engaged in both consumption and creation.

Dennis Shaffer - Psychology (Mansfield)

In order to replace a costly textbook, Shaffer will utilize originally-authored text paired with links to existing videos, lectures and real-world examples of course topics.

Donald Terndrup - Astronomy

Professor Terndrup intends to redesign two courses with a combination of existing open text and newly developed learning activities, statistical tools and computer programming exercises.

Christa Teston - English

Over the course of this project, Professor Teston will assemble a collection of materials and original videos that will allow for a redesign of the course curriculum that will define and describe a decolonial approach to technical writing.

Bradley Waller - Mathematics

In order to replace a conventionally-published textbook, Professor Waller will create an originally-authored online book that closely follows the course’s objectives. This work will be supported by Ximera, a tool already popular in Ohio State’s Mathematics Department.

Karen Winstead - English

Professor Winstead is planning to replace a costly anthology of literature with a series of open-access readings enriched with annotations and other guiding material. She also intends to develop sets of study questions and exercises to support the student learning experience.

Elizabeth Weiser - English (Newark)

Professor Weiser plans to replace a traditional textbook with a collection of open access materials that are tailored for the student population.

Jon Van Gray - Biology (ATI)

Over the course of the project, Professor Van Gray will assemble a robust collection of open textbooks, lab activities and supplementary media to replace a costly traditional textbook.

Shanna Jaggars - John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Dr. Jaggars has already begun to curate a collection of materials that are available through Ohio State University Libraries subscriptions, and these will replace a traditional textbook.

Dan Keller - English (Newark)

Thanks to his efforts on this project, Professor Keller will avoid the assignment of a textbook by curating a collection of open content used in combination with originally-developed learning materials.

Matt Lewis - Design

Professor Lewis intends to create a lending library for his students, offering single board computers and microcontrollers, along with supporting materials. This library will allow more students to have access to technology that might have been out of reach due to cost.

Gergana Atanassova - Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Professor Atanassova will replace the current learning materials with a curated collection of free and easily-accessible online resources.

The following instructors are recipients of the Syllabus Review Grant and are committed to working with Ohio State Libraries to reduce the cost of their learning materials by 25%:

  • Virginia Tompkins - Psychology (Lima)
  • Lawrence Feth - Speech and Hearing Science
  • Nikole Patson - Psychology (Marion)
  • Timothy Bussey - Political Science
  • Helen Chamberlin - Molecular Genetics
  • Kristi Lekies - Design
  • Donna Pastore - Human Sciences
  • Senad Sinanovic - Economics - *2 Courses*
  • David Stein - Educational Studies - *2 Courses*
  • Joel Wainwright - Geography
  • Max Woodworth - Geography

This fifth and final cohort is the largest yet and will bring the total number of ALX projects over 100. The total savings for all of these project is estimated to reach $10 million by autumn 2020.