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Open Educational Resources

For students: What is OER?

ELAC Students: While OER has a longer definition, you should know that OER classes are those that do not require students to purchase a textbook or access code. These classes are also known as Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC).

You can search for OER/ZTC classes in the ELAC and LACCD Schedule of Classes under "Class Search Type" as "Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC)." Additionally, there is a search option for "Low Cost Textbook Classes"--the textbooks and other materials in these classes are under $50. See: "Students: How to find OER classes!" for more details.

OER by ELAC Faculty!

ELAC faculty have been involved in the creation of OER that are valuable sources for those of us here at ELAC and in the greater higher education community! 


Canvas Modules:

  • This Introduction to College Research textbook above also has supplementary Canvas modules available for import/download in the Canvas Commons (if the link doesn’t work, search for the title of the textbook or search for ASCCC OERI).
  • ELAC Library Canvas modules for various library- and research-related content, including an introduction to using the ELAC Library, databases, primary sources, evaluating sources, citing sources (MLA and APA), and how to make an annotated bibliography (search for "ELAC Library" in Canvas Commons to browse these modules); created by ELAC Librarians and Library Science Professors Rita Suarez and Cynthia Mari Orozco.

Are you an ELAC professor who has created any OER? Email to be added to this list!. We want to celebrate your good work!

What are open educational resources (OER?)

Open educational resources (OER) include any and all educational resources, such as:

  • Textbooks
  • Entire Canvas courses
  • Canvas modules, pages, discussions, quizzes, etc.
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Homework assignments
  • Tutorials
  • Videos
  • Syllabi
  • Software
  • Lecture notes and PowerPoint slides
  • And more!

To be "open" these materials need to be free in two ways: 

  1. Copyright–OER must be in the public domain or use an open license, such as a Creative Commons (CC) license. Because of the permissive licensing, OER can be freely used in its original form or in modified ways. 
  2. Cost–OER are completely free of cost.

Here's the official definition of OER by UNESCO:

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others."

OER refers to not only textbooks, but so many other resources we use in our classrooms! Getting started in adopting OER can mean adopting an entire textbook, parts of a textbook, content from Canvas Commons, or perhaps licensing your own classroom content as OER for your colleagues to use in their classrooms. Most educators already practice this kind of sharing of educational resources already! Have you ever lent a colleague your syllabus for them to develop their course? Or has a colleague given you a really awesome handout or assignment prompt for you to adopt in your own course? OER is aligned with this spirit of sharing, just with a larger community and by purposefully applying open licenses to your work!


Adapted from OSU Library's "Open Educational Resources" CC-BY, 4.0.

OER Informational Presentations