TORONTO–Ohio University and Top Hat, provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for higher education, announced today that they have saved students more than $1 million in fees for textbooks and other course materials since beginning their partnership in December, which expands access to interactive, digital Open Educational Resources (OER) through Top Hat’s platform. The milestone more than doubles the original goal of generating $500,000 in savings by fall 2018.

This partnership provides Ohio University faculty with access to Top Hat’s teaching platform, which they can use to deliver engaging, interactive and fully customizable digital course materials adopted from the Top Hat Catalog. With access to more than 20,000 textbooks, course notes, and other course content across a wide range of disciplines, faculty have been able to find content to suit their needs.

“The prices of traditional textbooks have risen dramatically in recent years, effectively deterring students from purchasing assigned materials, despite knowing this would impact their grades,” said Duane Nellis, President, Ohio University. “Student access to and affordability of quality content are integral to OHIO’s mission of educational excellence and success. I am pleased that our faculty have been able to truly take ownership of this opportunity to adopt and customize affordable, engaging, and interactive course content that enhances OHIO’s classroom experiences.”

As part of the collaborative partnership, Top Hat has provided personalized one-on-one support to help faculty find these resources and adopt them to their specific course(s). For example, faculty member Dr. William Condee, a J. Richard Hamilton/Baker and Hostetler Professor of Humanities and professor of theater in OHIO’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts, single-handedly saved his students more than $70,000 by working closely with Top Hat to design a course using OER.

“I have found the staff of Top Hat to be very helpful, resourceful, and organized,” said Condee. “They present good ideas and options that are strategically tailored to the course learning goals and strategies, and the online material is very flexible. I applaud the University’s initiative to provide low- and no-cost text to students. Keeping higher education affordable to students and their families is vital to our democracy.”

“Our partnership with Top Hat has had an immediate and extraordinary impact on faculty use of OER by dramatically lowering the barriers to adoption,” said Brad Cohen, senior vice provost for instructional innovation, Ohio University. “Top Hat has really helped us to drive adoption – we’ve had more than 60 courses move over to OER so far in just one semester of this initiative, and that’s not a pace of adoption I’ve seen anywhere else. That so many of our faculty have so quickly embraced OER through this partnership is yet more evidence of the level of commitment they have to student access and success. Without sacrificing standards or quality, our faculty have saved students roughly a million dollars through this effort alone.”

In addition to being able to easily discover and adopt new course content in the Top Hat Catalog, OHIO faculty can use Top Hat’s all-in-one teaching platform to author their own course materials, create interactive homework, and create and administer tests. Professors can easily incorporate dynamic content into their course materials and apply an “assess as you go” learning design that provides feedback on where students may need the most support.

“Top Hat’s mission is to make higher education more affordable and effective, and we’re incredibly impressed with OHIO’s commitment to providing students with access to affordable and engaging course materials,” said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO, Top Hat. “Students can’t learn from textbooks they can’t afford and therefore don’t buy. Our work with OHIO has proven that it is possible to implement OER at scale, and we believe all universities should be working towards this goal of making higher education more affordable.”

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About Ohio University

Ohio University strives to be the best student-centered, transformative learning community in America, where nearly 40,000 students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders. OHIO is committed to fostering, embracing, and celebrating diversity in all its forms. Our Athens Campus offers students a residential learning experience in one of the nation’s most picturesque academic settings. Additional campuses and centers serve students across the state, and online programs further advance the University’s commitment to providing educational access and opportunity. Visit for more information.

About Top Hat

Top Hat’s interactive, cloud-based teaching platform enables professors to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling content, tools and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use the Top Hat teaching platform. To learn more, visit