Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

a guide for instructors and faculty to learn more about Open Education Resources, where to find them, how to use them, and how to create them

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources or (OER) are high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others. This may include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students. “Open Educational Resources” include, but are not limited to, full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, faculty-created content, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge (AB-798, section 67423, adapted from the Hewlett Foundation definition)

 

 

Zero Textbook Cost textbooks, known as ZTC textbooks, are digital textbooks available free of cost to students.

Many instructors around the country have chosen to use these textbooks in their classrooms to cut educational costs as well as increase accessibility for their students. As textbook prices rise, more and more courses are utilizing ZTC textbooks to provide a free alternative to traditional textbooks.

Classes that use ZTC textbooks are listed in the class schedule with Zero Textbook Cost symbol to the right of the course name and number to help students choose courses without any textbook fees.

For instructors who want to offer this to students, be on the lookout for a ZTC column in your spreadsheet,and make sure it's accurate as you develop your schedule. Instructors are being told to inform their Dept Chairs about any change to this field.

For more information see OER Zero Textbook Cost Degree 

The Story Behind Open Educational Resources

The term “Open Educational Resources” (OERs) was created at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries to describe a new global phenomenon of openly sharing educational resources.  The rapid expansion of technology-mediated approaches to deliver learning worldwide has accentuated the sharing and relevance of OER and amplified this global phenomenon. This campaign to make freely adaptable content known as OER widely available has gathered momentum globally, and has lead to the continual growth of OER creation and incorporation at educational institutions who have added these resources into their teaching and learning strategies.

For more information visit UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) 


"What is the Story Behind Open Educational Resources"UNESSCO is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 / A derivative from the original work

The Open Educational Resources (OERs) initiative is aimed at reducing the cost of attending a community college campus, where the bill for books and supplies often surpass the cost of tuition and fees. OERs provide students and their families with sorely needed financial relief, largely through the availability of high-quality teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs can include full courses, course materials, textbooks, faculty created content, streaming videos and more.

OERs give students more flexibility in learning, and research shows most students perform as well or better using open educational resource course materials compared with students using traditional textbooks.

Key to Open Educational Resources initiative is the Zero Textbook Cost Degree program, which evolved from research showing community college students were not taking classes, completing courses, or securing degrees and certificates because they did not have the money needed for textbooks and materials required for specific courses. This is especially challenging for low-income students and students who are working to support their family.

The growing research and efficacy in this field led to Senate Bill No. 1359, which was adopted in September 2016 and became operative on Jan 1, 2018. This bill requires each California Community Colleges and the California State University,

 

"...to identify in the online version of the campus course schedule its courses that exclusively use digital course materials, as specified, and communicate to students that the course materials for these courses are free of charge and therefore not required to be purchased. By imposing new duties on community college districts, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would become operative on January 1, 2018."

 


"Open Educational Resources" by California Community College's Chancellor’s Office is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 / A derivative from the original work

Guidebook to Research on Open Educational Resources Adoption by John Hilton III et. al., Open Educational Group, 2016

OER Starter Kit by Abbey Elder, Iowa State University, 2019

ZTC / Zero Textbook Cost Legislation

What is it? Instructors can choose to use free (open source / public domain / etc) textbooks for their course. The courses that are doing this are marked with a ZTC icon when students are registering for classes. 

[The schedule of classes shall] clearly highlight,... the courses that exclusively use digital course materials that are free of charge to students and may have a low-cost option for print versions.

 “Open educational resources” are high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others, and may include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students. “Open educational resources” include, but are not limited to, full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, faculty-created content, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

 

New Process For Getting ZTC Flag into Schedule of Classes

The current proposal is that Department Chairs include a column for ZTC in the spreadsheet they use to plan a schedule. For any given section, they'd be saying ZTC=yes or no. The Schedulers can include this during the schedule build.

In general, the info will correspond to a specific Teacher / Course combo. It shouldn't change very often, and hopefully in the direction of ZTC=yes. 

So for example, if Steve Smith teaches ENGL 1A, you can safely assume that all his sections of ENGL 1A are going to be ZTC=yes, every semester, from now on, unless you hear otherwise from him. If he also teaches ENGL 1B, don't assume that's also ZTC unless you hear that from him. If another teacher teaches ENGL 1A, don't assume their section is ZTC unless you hear from them. 

For teachers: The process would be that if (and when) you've changed your course to be ZTC, you would email your department chair and tell them to mark all your sections of that course as ZTC from now on.

Promoting ZTC

Departments / Teachers: Are you willing to coordinate your teaching style / materials / iLearn shell to adopt a ZTC for a class that multiple teachers teach? If so, we can lighten the load for everyone and benefit the students. Please contact Aleah Kropholler, Reference Librarian at akropholler@gavilan.edu