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OER & Zero Cost Textbooks: Get Started

Read below: Letter to the Board of Governors from behalf of ASCCC, ASCCCOERI, Creative Commons and Others

Get Started with Open Educational Resources (OER) & Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC)

ZTC means "Zero Textbook Cost." It is a means of creating student equity, and it refers to a course that uses materials that cost nothing to students. It can include:

  • Courses that have no textbooks; 
  • OER textbooks, books, or other Open Access course materials;
  • Textbooks that are purchased via grants or other funding sources and provided free of charge;
  • Articles, Books, and other materials made accessible through the Library that all students can simultaneously use (and you can ask a librarian for help with this)
  •  or any combination of the above.

OER means "Open Educational Resource" and refers to textbooks, books, course shells in Canvas Commons, and other open-access materials (see also creative commons). It is one of the easiest methods to achieve a Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC), but it's not the only method.

A Florida Virtual Campus report underscores these possible benefits by reporting via survey data the negative impacts of on students when the use of commercially published textbooks is the only choice available to students.

According to the report:

  • "(66.6% did not purchase the required textbook) [as a result] (37.6% earn a poor grade; 19.8% fail a course)".
  • "Time to graduation and/or access to courses is also impacted by cost. Students reported that they occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (47.6%);"
  • [Students] "do not register for a course (45.5%);"
  • [Students] "drop a course (26.1%), or withdraw from courses (20.7%)."

Get started by searching for Course Materials! 

Contact for librarian assistance

Additional information about adopting OER in your courses:

Did you know you can find accessible resources in the library for your students?

If you are using a non-textbook for your class, like a classic piece of literature or a popular work of fiction or non-fiction, we may have it the Norco College Library's eBook collection. Quite often these books are available to multiple users at the same time. 

We can also help you find articles, ebooks, and other resources in our library database that can be linked within your Canvas course pages.

If something you'd like is not in our collection, we may be able to purchase an eBook copy so the item can be accessed & used by multiple students at no cost in our library databases. Fill out our materials request form and let us know what class it's for in the notes, and we can see if it's available to purchase for our ebook collection.

Contact for librarian assistance

Teaching at Norco and using OER or other no-cost materials for your courses?

Fill out our survey for Winter and Spring 2022,  and we can add you to the ZTC course list we provide to our students!

Find Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER Materials by School or Discipline:

Easy to Search OER Sites:


OER Sites with Advanced Searching