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Inclusive Access

Inclusive access is a model by which students lease course materials from publishers.  In this model, instructors assign materials to students in a class and a fee is charged to all students in that class and course materials are delivered digitally to students.  

Nicole Allen, director of open education for the scholarly publishing and Academic Resources Coalition said that she feels the term "Inclusive access" is a misnomer, she said "It’s the opposite of inclusive, because it is premised on publishers controlling when, where and for how long students have access to their materials and denying access unless they pay for it," She further  said OER is an alternative to inclusive access. OER is completely free, can be edited, downloadable and can be adapted by the instructors they way they think it is best. [Inside Higher Ed]

To learn more about inclusive access, see, a community-driven initiative to raise awareness of the facts about automatic textbook billing. 

How is Inclusive Access different from OER?

  • OER is completed free.  Students are charged a fee to obtain Inclusive Access content.
  • Instructors can edit, modify, and redistribute OER thanks to their intellectual property licenses.  Inclusive Access content is all rights reserved.
  • Instructors may combine multiple open educational resources and tailor them to their own needs. –not true with inclusive access. 
  • Students may keep OER forever.  They have no access codes or DRM unlike Inclusive Access.

What is Top Hat and how it is different from OER

Top Hat is Canadian Education technology Startup, and Top Hat Marketplace is an initiative of the Tophat to create more interactive and easily customizable educational content digitally for professors and students. [Top Hat]

Top hat Market is a digital hub where instructors can create, share, adapt and collaborate on interactive course content. You can suggest recommended changes to the authoring team and they can accept/reject. Additionally, instructors can start a course from scratch. 90% of the Content is free for instructors and students to use for free, and for the rest need to pay a fraction of the traditional publisher’s content. Instructors and students can use Top hat marketplace platform for free. [Top Hat Market Place]

How Top Hat is different or similar to OER? 

It seems like the Top hat marketplace is very similar to OER commons or Merlot. Top Hat Marketplace has course materials from OpenStax, Project Gutenberg and other OER sources like Open Oregon. However, it’s all courses are not free, up to 90% is OER/free.

Intellus Learning

Intellus Learning is a service company which helps instructors and students find and evaluates digital contents for students. It is a collection of Open Educational Resources, Library content and faculty-created content.

Intellus leaning can work with LMS. It consists of OER and academic learning. It can align existing content with teaching objectives by mapping out learning resources such as course, degree maps and syllabi, and it can also measure student’s engagement with the course content assigned by the professor.

Intellus Learning Open Course and OpenStax

Content in Intellus course is selected, scaffolded and reviewed by a team of Macmillan learning editors, instructors and compliance experts. The courses consist of a range of OER and openly-licensed content, including Open eBooks, videos and Animations, assessments, interactive and primary source materials. These courses are customizable through the Intellus learning platform. However, these Open courses are not free and are only accessible online for a limited period of time(typically 6 months).

Unlike Intellus learning, OpenStax does not charge any money and is free. One can customize OpenStax content according to their needs and additionally one can keep OpenStax resources forever.  The content is also very high quality and is written and reviewed by subject experts.


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