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OER and Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$)

Information on free and low-cost textbook and courseware options: what they are, how to find them, and programs to support their adoption.

Free Temporary Access Spring 2020

Several academic and textbook publishers are offering free temporary access to their books and other resources in electronic format, to allow students, faculty and other members of the campus community to use them while unable to access printed copies. The list below will be updated as more information becomes available.

Textbooks 

RedShelf and VitalSource list textbooks from major textbook providers with free access for students until the end of term.

  • Vital Source Access:
    1. Visit Vitalsource’s Bookshelf login page and follow the instructions to create an account. Students must create an account with their institutional (csum.edu) email address.

    2. Once you confirm your email, sign in and search for books by title, ISBN, or author.

    3. When you find a title, just hover over it and click ‘borrow’. Users can borrow up to 7 titles.

  • ​​RedShelf Access:

  1. ​Visit RedShelf's login page for RedShelf Responds. Students must create an account with their institutional (csum.edu) email address.

  2. Once you confirm your email, sign in and search for books by title, ISBN, or author through the "borrow your text" search box.

  3. Once you find a title, click on details for the title you want and look for the BORROW option.

Databases (articles and books)

Publishers

This list is based in part on information in the Online Learning: Textbooks and Resources guide from the University of Richmond's Boatwright Memorial Library, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

What are affordable course materials?

Affordable course materials can include:

  • Open educational resources, or other free or low-cost textbooks
  • Open courseware, or other free or low-cost learning resources and ancillary materials (test banks, homework, and so on)
  • Books or articles licensed for use through the library
  • Public domain materials
  • Instructor-created materials

Affordability Umbrella

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open educational resources (OER) are learning materials such as textbooks, online homework, test banks, interactive modules and even entire courses that are freely available to be used, remixed, improved, and redistributed. They are often available under a Creative Commons license. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which has been supporting OER since 2002, defines them as "high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose."

About the CSU AL$ initiative

AL$/OER Reports & Research