What Drives the OER Movement?

Two of us from the Distance & Regional Ed team attended the OER Summit at Diablo Valley College in 2019, and what we learned about the impact of textbook costs on enrollment was sobering –

A Spring 2018 survey of 1,122 students at Los Medanos College showed that 52.5% of students avoided carrying a full load because of the cost of books and 59.6% of students could not afford all their books within the first 3 weeks of class. Source: LMC Open Education Resource

In a Spring 2016 survey of students at College of the Canyons, 70% of students said the cost of textbooks influenced their enrollment; 57% did not buy the required textbook; and 87% were concerned about their grades. Source: OER Student Survey Spring 2016  Report #303, College of the Canyons

A 2014 survey of 2,039 students at 156 campuses across 33 states revealed 1/2 took fewer or different classes; 2/3 chose not to buy textbook; and 9.5/10 were concerned about grades. Source: Fixing the Broken Textbook Market

 “I couldn’t go last semester because … I couldn’t find any money to borrow. I missed an entire semester.”

“I took a lot of time off school JUST BECAUSE I couldn’t afford the textbooks, even after I became a student purchasing the textbook was THE HARDEST PART.”

–Reedley College Students

For many disciplines, there is a better way. OERs are freely available learning materials that can be copied, edited, and shared to better serve all students by allowing immediate access, customized to a specific class, at no cost.  Some colleges are even implementing Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) degree and certificate programs that rely solely on these alternative instructional materials.


Who Can Help Me Get Started?

We can help you understand, locate, and use OER! 

Patrick McClanahan, Computer Science Faculty, is our college’s OER Liaison and can answer questions at patrick.mcclanahan@deltacollege.edu

Mary Weppler, Public Services Librarian and Art History Faculty, can help you find OERs.  Contact her at mary.weppler@deltacollege.edu and check out her LibGuide on OER

We also recommend visiting the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources


OER Evaluation Criteria & Rubrics

You’ve found open educational resources for your course! Awesome! Now what? How can you ensure it’s appropriate, quality, relevant and adequate for your course? 

Here are two OER rubrics with comprehensive evaluation criteria:


Additional OER Resources

PowerPoint: The Case for Open Education and Zero Textbook Cost Degrees, James Glapa-Grossklag

Join the CCCOER Community of Practice email group

OER Commons – Create an account to join the CCC Community Hub on OER Commons. Post your own OER or search for what other colleges are sharing!


Cool4Ed – California Open Online Library for Education


LibreTexts – UC Davis