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ZTC/OER Basics: Home

A basic guide to help fellow librarians, students, faculty and staff diving into the world of Zero Cost Textbook Courses (ZTC) and Open Education Resources (OER)


Welcome to this guide for ZTC/OER Basics 

This Guide will cover

  • What is a Zero Textbook Cost Course (ZTC)?
  • What is an Open Education Resource (OER)
  • How to find OER & List of OER Resources
  • How to evaluate OER
  • Creating OER
  • Creative Commons (Citing OER)
  • Extra Resources

What is ZTC?


ZTC stands for Zero Textbook Cost and it refers to a course itself that does not have any textbook costs. Sometimes these courses may still have a small print fee if a book is digital or things like lab fees but overall the idea is all the students have access to the same materials from the start of class and do not have to pay extreme costs. 

Here is a video from 

Cosumnes River College explaining the concept of ZTC


What is OER?


OER stands for Open Education Resources and refers to the actual materials you will need to make a course ZTC. These materials can be wide ranging. There are everything from textbooks to activities, assessments, videos and more. What makes a material OER is it needs to be shared openly and most can be edited and changed. You will read a lot more about this process on the Creative Commons page. OER materials are built by their communities so some subjects have a great number of resources while others have few or none at all. However, OER is constantly being built and shared so it is worth going on the next tab to find OER and taking a look for yourself. 

The 5 R's of OER from David Wiley’5R Framework.

The 5 R's of OER are attributes which can be found in most Open Educational Resources. They are: 

the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Here is a video explaining OER 


“What is OER” by The Council of Chief State School Officers is licensed CC BY 4.0


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Danielle Kaprelian
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