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Open Educational Resources (OER)

A guide for faculty to find OER & no-cost materials

OER Myths

Books open to show the writingMythbusting OER

The ASCCC address commons myths surrounding OER in this article written in February 2018 by Dolores Davison, ASCCC Secretary and Michelle Pilati, ASCCC OER Task Force. 

Using OER as Course Textbooks

The UC Office of the President, in collaboration with the CSU Chancellor’s Office, released the following statement regarding Open Educational Resources (OER) Textbooks as a reaffirmation of current policy (September 2017):

  • [F]or CSU and for UC, it’s fine to use assembled materials or Open Educational Resources, so long as they’re stable and publicly available as published textbooks (and not a list of links).
  • All CSU and UC campus departments consider the content of textbooks when reviewing articulation proposals from the CCCs. The use of online texts is reviewed by campuses on a case-by-case basis for articulation with CCCs.
  • There are multiple CCC courses that use online texts that are approved for CSU- and UC-transferability, and for articulation with CSU and UC campuses.
  • Some CSU and UC campus departments use online texts themselves.

 The District Office of Curriculum Services is working  to provide a section in CurricUNET for Open Educational Resources.

From Guiding Notes for General Education Course Reviewerspage 8. Published jointly by The California State University and The University of California. Revised November 2016. (Bold emphasis added.)

Proposed courses should include at least one textbook. Reviewers use the representative text as a way to confirm their understanding of course content. It's understood that the instructor in a given section may choose a different text, but the proposed one is still given close attention. It's expected that the structure of the text will be consistent with the course outline. Including additional reading is a good way to demonstrate that multiple points of view will be evaluated, as a means of developing critical thinking.

Texts don't need to be published in hard copy. The UC and CSU welcome the use of online texts and other Open Educational Resources, so long as the resource is a stable, bona fide textbook, and not just a collection of links to lecture notes or other web pages.

The following comes from notes and discussions by SDCCD Articulation Officers and their CSU/UC partners (bold emphasis added):

Notes Regarding Course-to-Course Articulation 

  • CSU and UC campus departments consider the content of textbooks when reviewing course-to-course articulation proposals and course outlines of record (COR) from the California Community Colleges (CCC).
  • The use of online texts is reviewed by UC campuses on a case-by-case basis for articulation with the CCCs. Texts, both online and traditional, must be dated within seven years for most course submissions.