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Open Educational Resources

The purpose of this guide is to support faculty adoption of OER, while respecting academic freedom, in order to make college affordable for our students.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.

Creative Commons

By using OERs in their teaching, instructors can make learning more accessible for students who struggle financially.

Find OER

SCC’s Affordable Educational Resources Committee (AERC) suggests a number of searchable websites that categorize and review links to open educational resources.

Find OER

Affordable Educational Resources Committee (AERC)

We work to identify alternative strategies to reduce textbook and course material costs for students.

Affordable Educational Resources Committee

OER Grant Application

Apply for an OER grant to work on adopting or remixing OER, or supporting your colleagues.

OER Grant Application

Zero Textbook Cost Form

Submit this form for all of your course sections that have Zero Textbook Costs for students.

Zero Textbook Cost Form

Textbook Affordability Contacts

Faculty providing guidance with low-cost strategies, OER, and zero-textbook-cost (ZTC) teaching.

If you are an instructor that would like to be added to this list, contact Antonio López or Rebecca Goodchild in the sidebar.

Behavioral and Social Science Division

Family and Consumer Science
Women and Gender Studies

Business and CIS Division


Humanities and Fine Arts Division

Art History


Mythbusting Open Educational Resources

Mythbusting Open Educational Resources

Article from the February issue of Rostrum, a publication of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC).

What is SB 1359?

The California Senate Bill, SB 1359 "Public Postsecondary Education: Course Materials" (Block 2016), requires Community Colleges to indicate course sections that use course materials, such as OER, at no cost to the student. This existing law requires California Community Colleges to take specific actions with their academic senates, campus bookstores, and faculty to publicize the use of affordable textbooks. This law became operative on January 1, 2018.

What is a Z-Degree?

A Z-degree is a program that allows students to complete a degree without spending money on textbooks. Passed on June 27, 2016, AB 1602 is the Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree Grant Program.  The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges passed this resolution favoring local academic senate approval for Z-Degrees. As of this posting, the request for proposals has not yet been released.

Are OER peer reviewed?

Many are! The California OER Council has a peer-review process, including guidelines, a process for requesting peer review, and opportunities to be a reviewer. Take a look at the responses to questions six through ten on the CA OER Council FAQ.

MERLOT also has a peer-review process. Take a look at the MERLOT evaluation criteria.

Are OER as high quality as traditionally published textbooks?

Many are! Each discipline is in a different stage of growth. STEM OER are some of the most advanced in this respect. See LibreTexts from UC Davis as an example.

Learn how SCC Chemistry Department's own Dianne Bennett is using LibreTexts.

As increasing numbers of faculty across the country and the globe have participated in the creation, review, and use of OER, many competitive OER textbooks and OER textbook alternatives have become available to a growing number of courses.

If OER are online, how can a student without a computer access them?

Students should have the option of printing OER material. Nevertheless, this can present constraints on a student's access to course material because some students may not have online access from home and may have other obligations that prevent them from using campus computer labs during scheduled lab hours.

Complete access to OER depends on broader socioeconomic issues. This suggests that expanding efforts to provide broadband access to students beyond campus hours is necessary to realize the full potential of OER.

What is AB 798?

California's College Affordable Textbook Act of 2015 (2015 Assembly Bill 798) set up an incentive award program that offers money for professional development, curation expenses, and technology support related to OER.

How does AB 798 impact SCC?

During the Spring 2016 semester, the SCC Academic Senate passed a resolution in support of OER and approved a plan for the campus to participate in the AB 798 incentive award program. In Fall 2016, SCC accepted an AB 798 award of $19,000 based on faculty from 19 class sections committing to adopt OER during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Can I use OER with Canvas?

Many of the materials in Canvas Commons are OER. Watch this video to learn more (Canvas section starts at 9:45).


Librarian: Antonio López
Phone: (916) 558-2678

Librarian: Rebecca Goodchild
Phone: (916) 558-2377

OER Commons