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OER: Open Educational Resources

Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) & Affordable Sections

How can students find Zero Textbook Cost Sections?

“UAS Zero Textbook Cost Sections” can be identified using the search by attribute feature (in addition to UAF: NoLo and UAA ZTC Sections) in all student registration systems including: 

Detailed Search Instructions include screenshots to walk you through the process. 

screenshot displays use of zero textbook cost section limiter

Note: Zero Textbook Cost Section calculations only account for required textbook and course materials costs. These sections still have costs for course supplies, course fees, lab fees, proctoring fees, and tuition.

How are Affordable Courses (Zero Textbook Cost & Low Cost Textbook) Sections tracked?

We've done our best to track course sections using Zero Textbook Cost materials since 2016. The process has relied on instructors to self-report  use and adoptions. Recently we've started tracking use of low-cost materials to recognize faculty efforts to improve textbook affordability for UAS courses. These efforts have been labor intensive and unsustainable. 

We are working to implement Zero Textbook Cost Section (ZTC) markings for course sections with no required textbook costs into the semester course schedules to increase the visibility of these sections to students at the time of registration.  This process will allow Open UAS to more easily track which sections have Zero Textbook Cost; recognize faculty adopting Zero Cost materials and calculate the estimated student cost savings. Zero Textbook Cost Sections will be marked beginning in April 2022 for the Fall 2022 Course Registration window. 

Faculty can view sample scenarios to determine if their course section(s) qualify for the Zero Textbook Cost designation.

What about low cost courses?
Some universities have both a low-cost marking and no-cost marking (ZTC). It is substantially more complex to implement a low cost marker compared to a zero cost marker. UAS will focus on implementing a ZTC course marking first before working toward adding a low cost marking.

How are cost-savings calculated?

For efficiency's sake, UAS has adopted the cost-savings calculation championed by Open Oregon, the Open Textbook Network, and other community college textbook affordability initiatives. That is, $100 in savings per student per course. Low-cost Textbook sections are calculated using ($100 - 41*enrolled students). It's not a perfect system, but it helps account for variations in price by discipline, and there's a fair amount of research behind the $100 per student per course estimate