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Open Educational Resources @MJC

This guide provides an overview of open educational resources (OER), Zero textbook cost courses, and gives you tools to help you find, create, and share these resources.


The Basics

OER = Open Education Resources

ZTC = Zero Textbook Cost


Free vs. Open image

Using Open Education Resources is one way of creating Zero Textbook Cost courses

Faculty can choose Open Textbooks from the many repositories that exist or they can use OER to build their own lessons. Often times there are actually complete open lessons for different disciplines. These OER  are freely and openly available to everyone to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.

Another way to create ZTC courses is using free materials that are not open (so they can’t be modified) such as articles, documents, films, and more accessed through databases at the MJC Library & Learning Center.

Image source: “The 5Rs of Openness” by Designers for Learning from the Instructional Design Service Course is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

What are OERs?

Attribution: "What is OER?" by The Council of Chief State School Officers is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials freely available for everyone to use, whether you are a teacher or learner.

Examples of OER include:

  • Full courses,
  • Modules,
  • Syllabi,
  • Lectures,
  • Homework assignments,
  • Quizzes,
  • Lab activities,
  • Pedagogical materials,
  • Games,
  • Simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.


Attribution: "The Future of Education, Co-Created by You" by ISKME is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

What Can I Do With OER?

The great aspect of OER, is that you can adapt material in your discipline that you like to use for your own course. In fact, for a work to be an OER you must be able to do the following with it:

Permission right of OER

(Five R's at

What is ZTC?

Zero textbook cost (ZTC) means that students do not incur any costs for purchasing course materials. 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 MJC Library

 Image Attribution: "Flat World Knowledge: Open College Textbooks" by licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"Zero Textbook Cost." Skyline College, Accessed 24 Oct. 2019.