Affordable Learning Solutions Expo focused on faculty-provided affordable resources for students

In Campus News, News
(Sarah El-Mahmoud / Daily Titan)

Faculty-provided affordable resources and services for students were the focus of the Affordable Learning Solutions EXPO and Faculty Recognition at the Titan Student Union (TSU) Tuesday.

Titan Bookstore and the Department of Online Education and Training (OET) hosted the event which featured presentations educating faculty on how to reduce student expenses and promote their success. Pollak Library, Faculty Support Services, Disability Support Services and book publishers presented their services at booths.

Titan Shops director Kim Ball said the program was designed to pull the many resources available to faculty, helping them lower course-material costs and allowing them to collaborate.

Thirty-four faculty members were honored for taking part in a CSU initiative from the Chancellor’s Office called Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$).

CSUF biology professor Merri Lynn Casem was one faculty members awarded. Casem participated in the summer training where she learned to implement affordable materials into classrooms.

“(The course) was really intensive, but it was also really exciting. I think one of the things I like best about those kinds of experiences is that you get to interact with your colleagues from all across the university,” Casem said. “To be able to talk and hear the perspectives from people who teach different kinds of courses in different colleges and departments was really valuable.”

Among the expo booths offering resources was Montezuma Publishing, a company at San Diego State University which designs and publishes textbooks for professors. These textbooks are offered at half of what the texts might cost regularly, said Kim Mazyck from Montezuma.

She said she enjoyed the opportunity to talk to faculty members face to face to better help them with their needs during the expo.

Pollak Library Instructional Design librarian Lindsay O’Neill advocated for Open Educational Resources along with her colleagues. O’Neill spoke on the use of Open Educational Resources to find instructional materials at her presentation. She said the long-term solution is to adopt library materials to give students free access.

Titan Shops’ new Titan Direct Access Program was also presented. The newly launched program provides online textbooks for free on Titan Portal until the add/drop deadline of classes.

Willie Peng, interim assistant vice president for Information of Technology, said he felt it would be helpful for students to keep textbooks after taking the class because the material is often beneficial to keep.

Mike Dickerson, campus engagement specialist at Titan Shops, said that so far, he has received positive feedback from professors on the program.

Interim provost and vice president for academic affairs Anil Puri said that he hopes these implementations of resources such as the acknowledged Affordable Learning Solutions faculty will catch on to more classrooms because college is already a difficult endeavor, financials aside.

Jason Rochlin contributed to this report.

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