Measuring Success: An Introduction to Affordability Metrics


Stefanie Buck, Director of the Oregon State Ecampus OER Unit, Oregon State University Ecampus

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Measuring Success

Creating an affordable learning initiative that supports online students is a significant accomplishment, but how do we assess these programs? How will we define success, and what metrics will we use to measure success? Anyone who has established an affordable learning initiative has to grapple with these questions, finding answers that suit each unique organizational environment.

Holistically assessing an affordable learning initiative can be challenging. In many cases, tracking student savings on course materials is the goal. This type of goal is often expressed in catchy phrases like “saving students $20 million by 2020”. But student savings may not be the only or the best way to define success. Lowering costs for students is important for a number of reasons, but these metrics alone do not tell the whole story.

In our session at OLC Collaborate – Oregon, we will discuss the challenges of measuring the success of an affordable learning initiative on the institutional and statewide levels. We present different methods for determining the success of your affordable learning initiative and give you the opportunity to consider how you want to determine success at your institution, explore the different methods, and create an affordable learning initiatives team that can help you achieve your goals.

Learn more about measuring success with Stefanie and her co-presenter, Amy Hofer, Coordinator of Statewide Open Education Library Services at OLC Collaborate, hosted by Oregon State University on February 7, 2020. Register today

Stefanie Buck

Stefanie Buck is the director of Open Educational Resources (OER), a unit within Oregon State Ecampus that focuses on affordable learning through no- and low-cost course materials.

Established in 2014, the OER unit supports and encourages faculty to adopt, adapt and author high-quality OER materials to help improve student learning and retention. The unit serves all Oregon State faculty who teach face to face, online and hybrid courses.

Prior to this, Stefanie worked for OSU Libraries from 2009-2019 as the Ecampus librarian. She has presented at conferences and published on topics related to distance education and student learning. She currently serves at the chair of OSU’s Faculty Senate Online Education Committee.

Stefanie holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Iowa State University, master’s degrees in history and library science from the University of Hawai’i, and a M.Ed. in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.



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