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Online Teaching Resources for Faculty: Using OER & ZTC in Your Class

Need Help with OER?

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Lia Thomas
Phone: 650-574-6568
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Twitter: csmlibrarian

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Some elementson this guide are taken from the ASCCC OERI resources page and Skyline College's ZTC page.

Supporting Students with OER/ZTC

Stack of books with a roll of ten dollar bills on top

The high cost of student textbooks is an ongoing issue, so it's well worth our time as faculty to use resources and tools that will make courses more affordable and accessible to our students. These options will increase first-day access to required course materials and save students time and money.

Getting Started with OER and ZTC

The Differences Between OER and ZTC: Explained
  OER: Open Education Resources ZTC: Zero Textbook Cost
Definition OER is a type of course materialOER is a type of course material. OERs are free or low cost teaching and learning materials that are licensed, often under an OER License term, to allow users to retain a copy of the content and reuse, revise, remix and redistribute it. OERs can include textbooks, videos, tests, entire courses, course modules, and syllabi. Why use Open Educational Resources? OERs are free, ready-to-use content for your classes. Creators and users are free to retain rights, reuse content, remix content, revise content, or redistribute content. ZTC is a type of courseZTC is a type of course/course designation. Zero textbook cost (ZTC) means that students do not incur any costs for purchasing textbook course material (courses still may have material costs, just not for textbooks). Zero-cost to the students does not guarantee zero-cost to the institution, i.e. subscription databases, library equipment loans. To create a ZTC course, instructors might use Open Educational Resources (OER); Open Access, Creative Commons, and public domain materials, along with teacher-created materials and electronic resources owned or licensed by the CSM Library.
Types of Materials

OER materials may be:

  • OER written textbooks
  • OER-created course readings
  • OER-created course packs
  • OER-created quizzes
  • OER-created streaming videos
  • Virtually any other material created with an open license and used for educational purposes

ZTC course materials may include:

  • Openly available resources
  • College library-owned resources (journals, articles, books)
  • Public domain resources
  • Open Educational Resources (OER; see left)
  • Teacher- or student-created materials
Where to Get Help

Getting OER Help at CSM:

  • CSM currently has no OER Coordinator or related position to support faculty
  • CSM Librarians can help you locate OER resources
  • CSM's OER Liaison can provide faculty with basic information on workshops and programs from ASCCC

Getting ZTC Help at CSM:

  • CSM currently has no ZTC Coordinator or related position to support faculty
  • CSM Librarians can help you locate Library-owned resources that students can use in your classes at no-cost
  • CSM's OER Liaison can provide faculty with the latest ZTC news from the state
  • Check with your division assistant for information about designating your course as ZTC in WebSchedule and in the Bookstore

Explore OER and No-cost Resources at the CSM Library

OER/Zero-cost Benefits for Students:

  • Significant Cost Savings - Students know how expensive and cost-prohibitive textbooks can be.  ZTC provides no-cost or low-cost course materials, that can make higher education accessible and affordable for everyone.
  • Flexible - ZTC & OER provide flexibility for all learning styles. Students have the option of accessing ZTC electronic content online, downloading to your preferred device, accessing through the CSM Library, printing a hard copy a portion of the material, or purchasing a lower cost print version through the CSM Bookstore.
  • Accessible - ZTC and OER materials are available to students day 1 of class and long after the semester ends.
  • Course materials in ZTC class sections are Free to access for ALL students - regardless of enrollment status, county of residency, or program of study.

OER/Zero-cost Benefits for Educators

  • Tailor resources to fit your specific course context (e.g., translation, local examples).
  • Network and collaborate with Peers by creating a new open educational resource with a team of your peers.
  • Explore user reviews for a more in-depth understanding of the resources available.
  • Improve pedagogy by adopting the adage "I teach concepts, not chapters." 

How to Find Quality Open Education Resources

Helpful article from Wiley Education Services outlining the steps for finding quality OER:

  1. Align
  2. Search
  3. Evaluate

Four easy steps to look for open content:

  1. Identify keywords related to your course and its learning outcomes and/or objectives.
  2. Search OER repositories and libraries for relevant resources.
  3. Review the resources you’ve located for fit, currency and accessibility.
  4. Reflect on the materials you have located.

Other Resources to Help with OER/ZTC