Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) Program



Textbooks represent a significant expense for our students, but the good news is there are ways you can help make their education more affordable. If you would like to learn how to reduce textbook costs for your students, join this session.

The Affordable Learning Solutions: Introduction to Open and Affordable Resources workshop will take place on Friday, March 1, 2019 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM in Kennedy Library, Room 202b. You will increase your awareness of the breadth of affordable and open resources and explore how to incorporate them into your courses. The session is the first stage in a program designed to support faculty and lower-cost educational materials (stipends available).


The program has four steps, each designed to support finding and adopting open educational resources and saving students money while maintaining quality. Stipends are available for those who complete all program requirements.

Stage 1:

  1. Information Session

A two-hour information session on Friday, March 1, 2019. This session will inform instructors on:

  1. How to find an appropriate open educational resource (OER) with links to resources to investigate;
  2. Support from Cal Poly to make your OER texts accessible (through the free do-it-for-you MIDAS program); and
  3. Steps to implement the OER you have found in your course.

The two-hour information session will include three presentations:

  • Luanne Fose, CTLT Lead Instructional Designer, and AL$ Coordinator will discuss discovering and using open and affordable texts from a variety of resources and will provide guidance for completion of the research written report to obtain the stipend. Luanne will also share how to ensure that resources, both those you discover and those you create, are accessible to all students. He will also discuss the new MIDAS program (Making Instructional Documents Accessible to Students) and explain the free support provided to faculty who need help making OER accessible.
  • Deanna Carroll from the University Follett Bookstore will explain how early and timely adoptions benefit the students (i.e., competitive rental pricing, securing USED books, negotiating cost with publishers, and giving cash back to students through Buyback). Follett's new faculty adoption tool provides several free and reduced-cost options for instructors.
  • Amy Wiley, Coordinator of AB 798 will talk about the opportunities for entire departments to be involved in OER on a much larger basis and receive further stipends.
  1. Open Resources Search

Complete a search through various resources in order to find a suitable OER solution for your course(s). This portion search will be completed following the information session.

  1. Open Resources Search Summary

Complete and upload a report that details the resources that you reviewed and identifies the open and/or affordable resource(s) that you plan to use in your course(s). A recommended procedure and outline/template to guide the written report will be provided. Deadline for report submission is 12:00 midnight, Friday, March 29, 2019. Reports will be posted on the CTLT website to guide other Cal Poly instructors searching for open educational resources.

Stage 2:

  1. Open Resource Adoption

Instructors adopt an open/affordable resource for a course and implement it in any quarter before Fall 2019. To receive the additional $250 stipend for a total of $500, instructors must notify the AL$ team of the implementation by the first day of Fall quarter 2019.


Those who complete the program are eligible for a $500 stipend in recognition of the extra time involved in searching and adopting open educational resources. If appropriate materials cannot be found to adopt (thus, non-completion of Step 4), those who complete Steps 1-3 will be offered half stipends ($250).


All Cal Poly faculty are eligible to participate. Faculty interested only in attending the information session but not completing the post-session work are welcome to attend as guests. If you are interested in participating in the complete program, please register by Friday, March 1, 2019.


The Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative, sponsored by the CSU Office of the Chancellor, supports campus partnerships to enhance choice, affordability, and access to educational resources. The Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology is partnering with Kennedy Library, the Disability Resource Center and the University Store to support efforts to enhance college affordability during the 2017-18 academic year. You can learn more about the CSU’s AL$ initiative here: http://als.csuprojects.org/

Register here...

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