Open Educational Resources and Zero-Textbook-Cost

What are OER and ZTC?

 Section 78052 of California Education Code defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as: 

“high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released pursuant to an intellectual property 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.”

Zero-textbook-cost or "ZTC" is a designation from the State of California and is aligned to the requirements of SB 1359.  This designation is applied to classes when they use OER or other ZTC options for their required textbook, such as a Library ebook with proper licensing.

Why OER?

There are so many reasons why we should use OER in place of commercial resources whenever possible. Here are a few to consider:

  1. OER are available online or digitally for free, which lowers the cost of education for students.
  2. OER supports academic freedom and provides faculty control over their instructional materials.
  3. OER can be reused, updated, and made accessible in a variety of ways aligning with equity efforts.

Need More Information?

Visit the SMC OER Guide for further details about finding OER and the supports available at SMC. If you any questions related to OER and ZTC, please fill out this contact form .

Contact Us for Details on OER