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Affordable and Open Educational Resources

This guide will assist NYU instructors in understanding the basics in finding, using, or creating affordable and open course content.

Affordability at NYU

Affordability has become a key strategic focus for NYU. 

The Affordability Steering Committee notes this is "one of the most important, complex, and pressing challenges that NYU faces in the coming years."

Open Education Resources (OER)

Open padlock.Open Educational Resources or OER are materials that are created for public use, reuse, and modification. The OER movement is part of a broader effort in international higher education to make learning materials more affordable and accessible for students. OER is often licensed with a Creative Commons or other open license, allowing others to make broad legal use of the materials without having to seek copyright or other permissions.


Image: "Unlock" by Mariia Nisiforova on The Noun Project.

Affordable Course Content (ACC)

A dollar sign with the vertical line as a down-pointing arrow.Affordable Course Content or ACC is course material that is provided to students for their learning at little to no cost. ACC can include:

  1. Licensed material available from NYU Libraries
  2. Scholarly material provided at-cost to students (e.g., a print-on-demand textbook available for the cost of printing

Subject librarians at NYU Libraries are available to help locate and select licensed course materials that would be appropriate for use in any NYU course.

Image: "Dollar" by Colleen Wilson on The Noun Project.

Rising Textbook Costs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college textbook costs have risen 73% since 2006.

Graph showing rising education fees from 2006-2016. Plain text version follows

The above line graph shows a steady rise in multiple consumer price indices for education and childcare from 2006 through 2016. Consumer price indices on the graph include: college tuition and fees; elementary and high school tuition and fees; childcare and nursery school; technical and business school tuition and fees; housing at school, exclusive of board; and college textbooks. In the ten-year time span between 2006 and 2016, the consumer price index for college textbooks rises the most, far outstripping the average consumer price index, which is included as a dotted line.

One of the primary ways NYU faculty can help to promote affordability on campus while maintaining the university's high academic standards is by adopting, using, or creating affordable and open course content.  


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