Student Accessibility and Affordability Initiative - Coastal Carolina University
In This Section

Student Accessibility and Affordability Initiative in OL and Hybrid Course Programs

During the 2018-2019 year, the Office of Online Learning (COOL) will launch the first year of a new initiative focused on improving student access to a college education through the implementation of an Open Education Resources (OER) initiative. This two-year OER initiative focuses on two critical aspects that begin with education of our campus faculty and promotion of this initiative to our faculty colleagues and colleges.

By definition, OERs are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation, and much more. The broadest definition of learning objects seems to be, "any digital resource that can be reused to support learning." The goal of this OER project is to empower faculty to successfully review, curate, and select the highest quality materials at the lowest cost: our goal is to lower total cost towards degree for students by addressing one of the common pain points of students, textbooks and course materials.

Outcomes include:

  • Improving student ACCESS to higher education and our courses at Coastal specifically by lowering the cost of course materials 
  • Improving student PERSISTENCE in classes at Coastal through both Year 1 & Year 2 work on impacting online and hybrid online courses with significantly reduced and/or no-cost course materials
  • Improving student SATISFACTION and perception of COST-EFFECTIVENESS of their monetary investment at Coastal Carolina University
  • Improving STUDENTS ACADEMIC OUTCOMES in courses by providing low- and no cost course materials, which allow for access by all students to all course materials throughout the entire course term of a class
  • Improving student RETENTION by providing a solution to one of our students' primary concerns with completing degrees-cost

Faculty will be provided with support, education, assistance with adoption, and promotion of the OER tools within their individually selected courses. With the many concerns regarding student access to a higher education and the affordability of college concerns that are nationwide as well as here locally with us in South Carolina and Horry County, this initiative has both immediate as well as potentially far-reaching outcomes for Coastal.