Winthrop University: Education Professor First at Winthrop to be Recognized for Affordable Learning Initiative
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Education Professor First at Winthrop to be Recognized for Affordable Learning Initiative

March 15, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jones, education professor and program director for the learning design and technology program, is the first person at Winthrop to earn this distinction.
  • SCALE, an initiative through the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL), aims to reduce the overall cost of higher education by promoting the use of quality low-cost and no-cost learning materials in the classroom. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The South Carolina Affordable Learning (SCALE) initiative has recognized Winthrop University faculty member Marshall Jones as a Professor for Affordable Learning.

Jones, education professor and program director for the learning design and technology program, is the first person at Winthrop to earn this distinction. SCALE, an initiative through the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL), aims to reduce the overall cost of higher education by promoting the use of quality low-cost and no-cost learning materials in the classroom. 

Jones redesigned his instructional design and assessment course to incorporate free and online open materials instead of a textbook students have to purchase. He said the cost of higher education is a barrier for so many people, and textbooks add to that barrier. 

“I don’t want to ask students to pay $75 -$100 for a book unless we could use the entire book or unless we could use it in multiple classes,” he explained. “But those kinds of books were hard to find in my field, and they were still expensive. I’ve long been troubled by the cost of textbooks. My students are typically working adults and educators who are taking out loans to pay for their graduate degrees. If I can find high-quality and reliably available open resources, it means that I can save my students money and make education more affordable.”

Next, Jones hopes to have the master’s program in learning design and technology given the same distinction. He’s also open to talking to other Winthrop faculty members on how they can also incorporate free and low-cost textbook options into their courses. He noted that Hope Johnson, outreach and reference librarian in Dacus Library, is a good source for open materials. 

About Marshall Jones

Jones has studied, lived and worked around the world in places such as Bangladesh, Thailand, Ukraine and Ireland as a teacher and speaker. He earned his undergraduate degree in English literature from Furman University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in instructional design and technology from the University of George. 

Prior to joining the Winthrop community in 2001, he served on the faculty at Northern Illinois University and the University of Memphis. At Winthrop, he: developed the master’s program in learning design and technology; was named the inaugural Bank of America Professor of Education in 2006; directed the Richard W. Riley College of Education’s graduate studies program for several years; and now, leads the aforementioned master’s program. He’s a noted expert in the use of technology to advance learning and has served as an educational consultant and grant evaluator for school districts and universities in multiple states, and designed and developed training for multinational companies such as IBM, Motorola and Apple. 

For more information on learning design and technology, contact Jones at 803/323-2151 or jonesmg@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 7/13/22