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Open Educational Resources (OER): A Guide for Faculty: SB1359

This guide will provide information about OER and how you can use them in your courses.

This page explains SB 1359, the law requiring CCCs to list classes with zero textbook cost on the online class schedule, and how it's being implemented at OCC.

SB1359 Process

In order to be compliant with SB 1359, all online Schedule of Classes for CCCs and CSUs must indicate which course sections have “zero-textbook-cost" as-of January 1st, 2018.  These sections will be searchable and advertised to students.

We need to know if you have a zero-textbook-cost section/course! 

Every semester, please notify us of all courses/section numbers that are zero-textbook cost by filling out this form.

The State has established parameters for what constitutes “zero-textbook-cost”:

  • If all assigned textbooks are optional for the section
  • If all assigned textbooks are identified as Open Educational Resource (OER) textbooks 
  • If there is no assigned textbook
  • If the assigned textbooks (including course readers) are available online for free (i.e. through library databases) AND students are not required to buy a physical copy.

(Note: for course readers and online materials, faculty are responsible for adhering to copyright and accessibility requirements)

Other considerations:

  • Lab materials or required supplies are not considered a textbook cost, so if a course section meets the parameters noted above, but do require a materials fee – then the section WOULD still qualify textbook cost free per State guidelines.
  • If students need to pay fees to access a software platform to do coursework or homework, this counts as a cost.  The course section would NOT qualify.

All course materials used must comply with copyright law and with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact Melissa Broox if you are unsure if a section should be considered for inclusion as “no cost” in the schedule of classes or if you have any other questions.

SB1359 FAQ

  • What courses need to be designated as ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) in the class schedule?

    The ZTC designation is required only for those courses where the cost of the required textbook is zero dollars. This includes classes with no textbook assigned, that use OER materials, that use library materials that are adequately available for all students in the class, or that have optional texts.

  • What if my course has no assigned textbook? Does it need to be listed as zero-cost?

    Yes, as long as students are not required to buy course materials that are not traditional textbooks, such as online homework systems, subscriptions to publications, or lab manuals. Supplies such as paint for an art class or athletic tape for a tennis class do not count as course materials for the purpose of SB1359.

  • What if a course has an online zero-cost text but students have the option to pay to have it duplicated?

    This is still a ZTC section and should be designated as such since students have the option of accessing the text completely online.

  • What if a course has an online lab manual written by the instructor but all students are required to duplicate the manual for use in class?

    In this case, there is a cost for students, so the ZTC designation would not be used.

  • If a course's texts or materials are low cost, do we use the ZTC designation?

    No, the ZTC designation is only for courses that have zero textbook cost. There is a State Academic Senate resolution for colleges to consider adding a low-cost materials designation to the schedule, but it has not been decided if OCC will implement it.

  • What if a course section has been designated as ZTC but the instructor leaves and a new instructor takes over that section?  Is that new instructor required to keep the section as ZTC?

    The new instructor would not be bound by the original designation. Faculty have the right and responsibility to determine the course materials required for the section they teach. Some departments make departmental decisions by the faculty for multi-section courses and these selected course materials would be used by all the faculty teaching those sections, in accordance with departmental policies. The new instructor could have the option to use the previous instructor’s course materials if s/he wished to do so and this option might be convenient and useful given the timing of the assignment. If the instructor chose to use course materials that incurred a cost instead, they or the Department Chair must notify the Dean and campus scheduler so that students in the class may be notified that the class is no longer using zero cost course materials and the ZTC designation can be taken off the online schedule.

  • When do we have to have this done by?

    SB 1359 requires we designate appropriate course sections by January 1, 2018.