The PALSave Data Plan seeks to collect data in order to demonstrate the need for this program, assess the impact our program is having, and to further gather information about the use of zero cost resources at private colleges in Indiana.
Why do we need a data plan?
In May 2019, the PALSave program was awarded a grant for $520,000 from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to support the program over the next five years. In our application materials, we set goals to measure positive impact in the following areas:
- Content Production
- Course Transformations
- OER Awareness, Education, and Engagement
- Student Savings
- Student Success and Retention
A data plan is necessary to determine how to collect evidence of our impact in these areas to report to Lilly. Some of the areas are easier than others to measure. For example, under “Content Production” we proposed to produce five new open textbooks during the grant period, which is easily quantifiable. Others are more complicated to measure, such as student savings and success/retention. This plan defines the research questions, methodologies, and analyses for the harder to measure areas.
In addition to satisfying needs for grant reporting, data gathering is helpful for program communication and marketing. The Florida Virtual Campus’s Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey is a prominent example of data gathering that demonstrates the negative impact that textbook costs have on students, thus highlighting the need for affordable learning programs. Additionally, many affordable learning programs, such as those in Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio and gather and share impact data such as savings, student success measures, and perceptions of quality, which help to raise their profiles with stakeholders.
Analysis and visualization of such data at PALNI schools could help increase participation among our supported institutions, and inspire other private institutions and consortial programs to work towards lowering textbook costs.
Research Questions and Methodology
The PALSave Data Plan consists of research questions focusing on how textbook prices affect students, the impact of zero cost texts, and perceptions of quality, and identifies tools to answer those questions.
To view and/or adapt the PALSave Data Plan, visit https://tinyurl.com/palsave-data-plan