Open Education Resources (OER)


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What is OER (vs. Zero or Low Cost)?

Open Education Resources are course materials that are available to students and faculty for use in and outside a classroom for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. They are open for use and reproduction and include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

An OER must be materials that students can retain even after the course is completed with no access dates or password protection.

Santa Monica College was awarded a grant funding from the AB 798 Textbook Affordability Act in October 2016. The goal of this project is to promote the use of OER at SMC.

The OER movement has sparked efforts to help students afford the cost of education, including the development of degrees where all the courses use textbook materials that are of no cost to the student, hence Zero Cost Textbook Degrees  (ZCTD). Other efforts include the use of textbooks at a low cost. Though low cost is not officially defined by lawmakers, we view the measure of what is low cost to be student-centric and must be defined by students. Many other community colleges adopted their own definition of low cost to be in the range of $40-$60. This is yet to be determined at SMC.

Are You A Student?

Watch this video featuring a panel of students about OER.

Santa Ana College OER Student Panel OpenEd 2017