Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials shared under a license allowing for free use, alteration, and/or integration into new contexts. Zero-Textbook Cost (ZTC) classes and programs rely on OER and other online resources to eliminate textbook costs for students; Low-Textbook Cost (LTC) classes have materials costing $40 or less. This site is a starting point for MiraCosta faculty and students interested in discovering MiraCosta classes that are already using OER/ZTC/LTC materials, or for finding OER to replace current textbooks. Read up on general background information on OER and ZTC if you wish.
Quick Links for Faculty
- Review OER materials for many disciplines
- Discover open textbooks and courses that might be useful in your teaching
- Discover tools and services that may have a small cost but may help you rebuild and offer classes using low- and no-cost course materials
- Discover online sources of free multimedia and content that are useful in creating your own educational materials
- Learn more about support at MiraCosta for faculty interested in incorporating OER/ZTC/LTC materials into classes
- View directions to designate your classes as LTC or ZTC in SURF
- Review MiraCosta Academic Senate resolution in support of Open Educational Resources (2016) and clarification of ZTC and new designation for Low Textbook Cost (LTC) classes (2018)
- Explore the ASCCC OER Initiative website, which includes many resources, videos, and discipline-specific efforts to develop and use OER appropriate for California Community Colleges. The site includes a great resource on OERs, curriculum, and articulation if you have concerns/questions about that.
Quick Links for Students
- See a list of MiraCosta classes which are designated as Zero or Low Textbook Cost (ZTC or LTC)
In 2021-22, MiraCosta joined 9 other colleges to develop a ZTC Student Impact Toolkit for the ASCCC OERI. This involved developing and piloting a survey, and creating videos featuring student voices.
Nearly 200 MiraCosta students enrolled in a ZTC class responded to the survey. Important findings from the respondents:
- 41.5% say they have taken fewer classes because course materials cost too much
- 19.2% say they have dropped a class due to the cost of materials
- 47.9% say they have not purchased materials for a class due to cost
- 21.3% say they have had a course grade negatively impacted due to not purchasing course materials
- Just 1.6% disagree or strongly disagree with this statement: "The quality and content (writing, images, videos, examples in the text) of the free course materials in this class are the same or better than course materials you pay for in other classes"
- Just 1.1% disagree or strongly disagree with this statement: "The free course materials help you understand key concepts and support your learning the same or better than course materials you pay for in other classes"
OER & ZTC: MiraCosta College Highlights
April 2021: Flex workshop - How Open Educational Resources are Impacting Equity at MiraCosta (Zoom Recording, 1 hour 3 minutes) by Lauren McFall, Joseph King, Thao Ha, Claudia Flores, & Jim Julius. See also the workshop resources document.
August 2020: Flex workshop: Moving to Free and Open Course Materials (Zoom Recording, 1 hour 39 minutes) by Jim Julius, Pilar Hernandez, Nate Scharff, Jennifer Paris, & Richard Ma
June 2020: Summer workshop: Revisiting Course Material Selections for Equity (Zoom Recording, 52 minutes) by Jim Julius, Jennifer Paris, and Glorian Sipman
April 2018: MiraCosta, Palomar, and CSU-San Marcos held a NCHEA dinner event on OER at Palomar College. See the flyer for details.
January 2018: MiraCosta held an OER day with Nicole Finkbeiner from OpenStax. She met with administrators and interested departments throughout the morning; there was a large lunch event, and additional OER-related workshops in the afternoon. See videos from the lunch event including Nicole Finkbeiner's keynote address, a MiraCosta student panel, and a MiraCosta faculty panel.
In fall 2017, MiraCosta hosted an ASCCC Regional Meeting for faculty interested in learning more about OER on Sept. 16 and held a joint workshop with NCHEA partners on Oct. 20.
In 2016, MiraCosta received three grants to expand the use of OERs and the development of ZTC classes and programs.
- MiraCosta was one of 44 CCCs and CSUs to receive an AB 798 grant. This $50,000 grant provides support for 50 class sections in Math, Oceanography, Sociology, Child Development, and International Languages to achieve a minimum 30% course material cost savings for students through adoption of OER. For 2016-17, the use of OERs in classes associated with the grant resulted in savings of over $240,000 to students enrolled in 49 course sections. In 2017-18 that number will grow larger as more courses and sections use OERs.
- MiraCosta was one of 18 CCCs to receive a ZTC planning grant. This $34,369 grant supports the Sociology department and the college in planning for a ZTC AA degree in Sociology.
- MiraCosta was one of 5 CCCs to receive a ZTC implementation grant. This $66,948 grant supports the Child Development department in building out a ZTC Child Development Associate Teacher certificate.
The Physics department has committed to using OERs for the entire Physics course sequence, and use of OERs developed here at MiraCosta is rapidly increasing across the introductory Oceanography, Earth Science, and Geology classes.
The Library department has committed to going entirely ZTC for all Library classes.
The college is in compliance with the state requirement (SB 1359) to notify students of ZTC classes in the online class schedule by January 2018.
The college has established an OER Task Force comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, and students, which meets occasionally to further strengthen these efforts.
MiraCosta was accepted as a member in the Open Education Global / Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources in May 2017.