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.

ALS Campus Activities and Bookstores potential student savings graph

  • Due to the outstanding efforts by the AL$ campus coordinators, faculty, and the campus stores, the 2019-2020 AL$ reports show that the potential student savings on course materials continued to expand over previous years. The campus-based AL$ programs reported over $40M student savings, and the bookstores saved our students over $32M with their cost-cutting programs. Thus, the potential course materials savings for CSU students was over $72M because interested faculty stepped up to redesign their courses to incorporate low or no cost materials. 
  • The CSU enables the AL$ program with grant funding distributions to 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 adoption of them. 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

Instructor and Student Experiences with Open Textbooks from the California Open Online Library for Education (Cool4Ed)

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

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

White Paper: OER Adoption Study: Using Open Educational Resources in the College Classroom 

California OER Council Research Study (2016)

CAOERC White Paper Researching Findings on Adopting OER (video)

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


Recent OER Research External to the CSU

The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics

Colvard, Watson, & Park (2018)