Open Educational Resources
CTC’s OER initiative has saved our students $5,813,496.30 in less than two years.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. Central Texas College (CTC) is attuned to the rising costs of textbooks and has embraced an initiative to reduce these costs to zero by replacing commercial textbooks with OERs, as quality materials are available. In addition to cost savings, you can access OERs online, and in many cases you can download them to your computer for offline viewing. Most have a print purchase option. Please be aware that a print book may not contain recent updates that were made to the digital materials.
Courses are not OER—the instructional materials used in the courses are OERs. Once a course has been designated for OERs, the OERs are used for ALL delivery methods, with the possible exception of multimedia courses. The Blackboard master courses continue to use the standard template with minimal modifications for OERs.
We try to identify complete textbooks that are available in a variety of formats to meet student needs and restrictions. A print option for purchase is preferable. Please be aware that a print book may not contain recent updates that were made to the digital materials.
The academic and vocational departments choose the materials.
The availability of OERs for a few disciplines, such as Protective Services and Child Development, is somewhat limited, but more OERs are being created daily. For some courses, rather than having a book, we have linked out to several websites. Notify DEET of any issues found with links.
A primary concern for developing courses with OERs is identifying and evaluating the OERs.
These are some starting points for identifying OERs:
- Open Textbook Library: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/
- Merlot: https://www.merlot.org/ Search by keywords, browse by discipline, or choose the community portals.
- OER Commons: https://www.oercommons.org/
- OpenStax: https://openstax.org/ and OpenStax CNX: https://cnx.org/
- Do a browser search by entering keywords followed by OER.
These are things to look for:
- Multiple formats to include print option.
- Licensing—unrestricted to share-alike. You may be able to modify the resource. Share-alike means that you can make changes but must make these available to the public. The CTC Library can host OERs created this way.
- View the various licenses and their restrictions at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/.