Affordability Counts Program Grows Beyond FIU

Affordability Counts logo

Great things are happening at FIU Online! For example, Affordability Counts is being offered to other Florida state schools, along with a new revamp of its website. Affordability Counts encourages faculty to adopt free or low-cost materials when developing their courses and recognizes those faculty who have proactively made changes to make materials less costly for students. FIU Online is sharing the success of this initiative with others.

Sharing Affordability Counts at OpenEd

FIU Online staff at OpenEd Conference
FIU Online staff, Claudia Fernandez & Lergia Olivo, presenting at OpenEd Conference 2019

Recently, Lergia Olivo (Instructional Design Manager) and Claudia Fernandez (Instructional Designer) presented two sessions at the OpenEd conference in Niagra Falls, New York. This marked Florida International University’s first time attending and/or presenting at the OpenEd conference, which is now in its 16th year. The first presentation was “Let’s Dam Niagra Falls: Tackling High Textbook Costs, $60 at a Time” and the second was “Cut it Out: Slashing Course Material Costs in Higher Ed,” both of which discussed adopting low-cost course materials and open educational resources (OERs).

“…returned with a deeper understanding of how the high cost of textbooks and course materials is being tackled throughout the country.”

Lergia said, “Presenting at the OpenEd conference was a great honor, particularly because we were able to represent FIU Online and our Affordability Counts initiative. It was not only an incredible opportunity for FIU to share the progress our initiative has made with other like-minded institutions interested in free/low-cost textbook initiatives, but also to gain tremendous amounts of insights as well.”

Presenting Affordability Counts at OLC Accelerate

During the OLC Accelerate conference in Orlando, David-John Palmer (Associate Director of Educational Technology) and Jaime Young (Instructional Designer) presented “Affordability Counts: Implementing an Affordability Strategy to Impact Learning.” This discovery session informed conference attendees how FIU Online is expanding the Affordability Counts program to other state universities.

FIU Online Staff at OLC Accelerate Conference
FIU Online staff (Jaime Young, Stephanie Delgado & David-John Palmer) at OLC Accelerate Conference promoting Affordability Counts

Jaime shared, “The OLC conference breakout session presentation for Affordability Counts was a great opportunity to shine a light on the positive results achieved by promoting access while increasing savings for our students. The presentation achieved the main objective of building awareness and starting conversations, successfully engaging with numerous representatives from different institutions. It is quite rewarding when a simple conversation yields a future partner.”

David-John added, “We were excited to be given the opportunity to present at OLC’s Accelerate online learning conference. Our FIU Online team has had much success with the Affordability Counts initiative and we are looking forward to expanding its reach by partnering with other state universities.”


If you’re interested in learning more about the Affordability Counts program, speak with your instructional designer to get started today. Learn more about Affordability Counts by visiting the website or view FIU Libraries libguide on etextbooks and OERs. Additionally, you can read some of our previous articles about the initiative.

Sky V. has been rocking the FIU Online Instructional Designer "hat" since 2012. She promotes the use of best pedagogical practices and implementation of diverse forms of technology, yielding a positive online teaching experience for our professors and engaging learning experience for our students. Her areas of expertise include social media, gamification and user interface design. She is also an Adjunct Instructor with FIU's Marketing & Logistics department.

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