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Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (a living guide): Examples

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.

Austin Community College's Course Schedule includes a filter for Open Educational Resources/Zero Textbook Cost.


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.

From the search screen in UTA's Schedule of Classes, open the Additional Search Criteria options.At the bottom of the screen select "Educational Resources Cost" from the Course Attribute drop-down menu.

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.

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Print Schedule Integration

Screenshot of OER logo in print schedule of classes

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.

Stand-Alone Lists

screenshot of Lane Community College's list of low-cost and no-cost instructional materials available at institutions develop stand-alone lists of courses that use OER or affordable resources. Explore the example from Lane Community College shown in the image above.

Campus Store Integration

Other institutions leave the responsibility for marking OER courses to the campus store.

More Examples

OpenStax manages a survey of institutions that allow students to search class schedules for OER, Zero Textbook Cost, No Cost, Low-Cost Course materials. Information about institutions that have implemented such solutions is available online.