Texas joins California, Oregon, and Washington as one of the first states in the United States to pass legislation requiring OER course markings. Course marking processes have also been implemented in other states due to institutional or system-wide initiatives. These examples represent a variety of methods adopted at institutions around the globe to increase transparency in communicating OER or affordable resource use.
Electronic Schedule Integration
A growing number of institutions integrate OER filters into the university's schedule of classes; many institutions adopt the broader vocabulary of free, zero-cost, affordable, or low-cost resources. This strategy makes OER use highly visible by centering resource costs as a search option for students.
Austin Community College's course schedule has a highly visible, user friendly search filter, as shown below.
Customization of some student information systems can be difficult and/or cost prohibitive, resulting in functionality that isn't intuitive. For example, the University of Texas at Arlington's free and low-cost educational resources are included in a course attribute drop-down menu under advanced search options. Instructions on navigating the schedule of classes to identify free and low-cost educational resources are included in a "Find OER Courses" guide and shared with advisors via a downloadable informational flyer.
ACC and UTA Video Demonstration
This video demonstrates functionality of free and low-cost course markings integrated into the schedule of classes at the University of Texas at Arlington and Austin Community College in compliance with Texas Senate Bill 810.
OER Information for Prospective Students
Institutions also use OER and affordability efforts as a recruiting tool. Maricopa Community Colleges, home of Maricopa Millions, offer a step-by-step guide to finding OER for potential and incoming students, as shown below.
Institutions that issue print catalogs may experience increased flexibility for developing branded symbols as a visual way to mark courses that use affordable resources. In the example above from Columbia Gorge Community College, "Gorge Open" and "Low-Go" symbols, along with descriptive text, represent courses that use resources costing $50 and under in the schedule of classes.
Nicole Finkbeiner of OpenStax manages a survey of institutions that allow students to search class schedules for OER, Zero Textbook Cost, No Cost, and Low-Cost Course materials.
As of December 2019, representatives of 49 institutions completed the survey.