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Online Teaching Resources for Faculty

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:

  • Textbooks
  • Course readings, articles, and journals
  • Course packs
  • Quizzes
  • Streaming videos
  • Virtually any other material used for educational purposes

ZTC course materials may include:

  • Openly available resources
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Public domain
  • College Library eResources
  • Teacher-created materials
    • Student-created materials
Explore OER and No-cost Resources at the CSM Library

OER/Zero-cost Benefits for Students:

  • Lower costs to improve access to education opportunities.
  • Enable all students to have equal access to your course materials.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore course content before enrolling

OER/Zero-cost Benefits for Educators:

  • Create and update to improve existing OER.
  • 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." OER Benefits for Students:
  • Lower costs to improve access to education opportunities.
  • Enable all students to have equal access to your course materials.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore course content before enrolling

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