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Affordable Learning & Open Educational Resources @ Upstate: Home

Open Textbook Library Faculty Workshops

PASCAL will be offering five virtual workshops on the Open Textbook Library for faculty from across the state in July, 2020:

  • July 7, 2020, 10 AM - Hard Sciences
  • July 9, 2020, 10 AM - Humanities & Social Sciences
  • July 14, 2020, 2 PM - Health Sciences
  • July 16, 2020, 2 PM - Technical Colleges
  • July 23, 2020, 11 AM - Business

For more information and to register for these workshops, visit the workshops page on the PASCAL SCALE site:

What is Affordable Learning?

Affordable Learning seeks to minimize the costs of textbooks and other materials for students by using no-cost or low-lost resources. Learn more about Affordable Learning with PASCAL's SCALE (South Carolina Affordable LEarning) website.

Affordable Learning relies on three types of resources:

1) Library resources licensed and provided free of charge.

2) Open Education Resources (OER) - teaching, learning, and research resources that are free to access and also carry legal permission of open use. They are available in a multitude of formats, including textbooks, full courses, modules, videos, labs, assignments, and assessments published under Creative Commons licenses .

3) Free web resources, including many trade publications, government documents, and works in the public domain.


South Carolina Affordable LEarning (SCALE) is an initiative of the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) that seeks to reduce the overall cost of higher education for students by promoting the use of quality low-cost and no-cost learning materials. Through PASCAL, USC Upstate is a consortial member of the Open Textbook Network. You can access its Open Textbook Library and other OER resources on the SCALE site.


Library Resources for Affordable Learning:

Online Journals - The library subscribes to over 300 databases which, in turn, provide access to millions of articles. Instructors may locate an article and then provide the persistent link for that article's database record to their students. Providing the persistent link to the database record rather than a PDF of the article itself ensures that copyright laws are upheld and lessens the likelihood of errors within Blackboard. 

Ebooks - The library has access to thousands of ebooks. Instructors may search the catalog for ebooks in their subject area and then provide a persistent link to that ebook for their students. Some ebooks have a limit on the number of users allowed, so instructors should inquire with a librarian before assigning the ebook in a way that might generate multliple simultaneous users.

Streaming Audio & Video - The library also subscribes to databases which provide access to streaming audio and video and images (many of which can be found in Multimedia Resources guide.). It is possible to embed some of these into Blackboard. Ask a librarian if you need help finding access to a particular video.

Course Reserves - Personal copies of a textbook or other class materials as well as library materials may be put on course reserve. According to the instructor's choice, reserve materials will be available to students either as library use only or for 1-, 3-, or 7-day checkout. The library can also assist with electronic reserves. See the Course Reserves page for more details.

Library Liaisons - Each department on campus has a librarian assigned to it. If you find you need library assistance, asking your liaison is a good place to start.


Questions about Affordable Learning and/or OER?

The contact information below connects you to Upstate faculty who are able to answer your questions.