Reports and Research

AL$ Reports

Reducing Financial Barriers and Increasing Student Completion in Support of the Graduation Initiative 2025

The expanding implementation of affordable learning solutions is contributing to many CSU students having equitable access to course materials on the first day of class. Low or no cost course materials are also supporting the retention and completion of coursework enabling more faculty and students to experience the positive impact of affordable learning solutions.

  • Due to the outstanding efforts by the AL$ campus coordinators, faculty, and the campus stores, the 2020-2021 AL$ graph (above) exhibits the potential student savings on course materials has continued to expand each year. The campus-based AL$ programs reported over $45M student savings, and the bookstores saved our students over $32M with their cost-cutting programs. Thus, CSU students' potential course materials savings were over $77M because interested faculty chose to redesign their courses incorporating low- or no-cost course materials. 
  • The CSU supports the AL$ program with grant funding for the twenty-three CSU campuses so that they may implement projects to raise the awareness of low- and no-cost course materials and support the discovery and their adoption. These savings metrics are compiled from a combination of faculty using library databases, discounted bookstore materials and programs, online homework websites, and open educational resources.

CSU AL$ Research

Redesigning a Research Methods Course with Personalized, Interactive OER: A Case Study of Student Perceptions and Performance (2022, March Vol. 22, No. 1) (link pending)

Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL)

Textbook broke: Textbook affordability as a social justice issue This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.

Jenkins J., Hannans, J., Navick, N., Sanchez, L., Schraedley, M., and Young, J. (2021)

This study offered the first empirical evidence of textbook affordability’s influence on historically underserved college students. Its results revealed textbook costs to have a disproportionate impact on racial/ethnic minorities, low-income students, and first-generation college students; thus, confirming textbook affordability as a redistributive justice issue.

Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME).

openCI White Paper: Textbook Affordability and Student Success for Historically Underserved Populations at CSUCI This link will open a PDF file from an external website in a new tab.

Jenkins, J., Hannans, J., Sanchez, L. and Leafstedt, J. (2018)

Instructor and Student Experiences with Open Textbooks from the California Open Online Library for Education (Cool4Ed) This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.

O Ozdemir and C Hendricks (2017)

Several empirical studies over the last few years have shown that open textbooks have the potential to increase student access to course readings without sacrificing quality. Adding to these results, this study focused on data from a new source: over fifty e-portfolios written by faculty about the use of open textbooks in their courses in several college and university systems in the state of California. We studied instructor’s motivations for adopting an open textbook for their courses, the cost savings to students as a result of this adoption, the impact of assigning open textbooks on student learning outcomes and withdrawal rates, and other benefits and drawbacks of open textbooks. Faculty reported that cost savings was the most important motivation for adopting open textbooks, and that students most often reported this as what they appreciated about open textbooks. The vast majority of faculty also reported that the quality of the textbooks was as good or better than that of traditional textbooks, and that students did as well or better in terms of learning outcomes and withdrawal rates compared to when the same courses were run with traditional textbooks.

Exploration of CSU San Marcos' AL$ Program’s Impact on Student Grades This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.

Ben Hallowell, Research Analyst, IP&A (2016)

White Paper: OER Adoption Study: Using Open Educational Resources in the College Classroom This link will take you to an external website in a new tab.

California OER Council Research Study (2016)

CAOERC White Paper Researching Findings on Adopting OER This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. (video)

Diego Bonilla, Ph.D., Professor, Sacramento State University and CA OER Council member (2016)