A new law requires Texas colleges and universities to share information with students about courses that use open educational resources (OER). Now students should be able to search for courses that use only OER when they are registering for courses. This toolkit is a living document that can help Texas institutions implement course marking solutions. If your state or institution is considering similar policies, this toolkit can help you, too.
The toolkit became a collaborative book project in Summer 2018. The open access book, Marking Open and Affordable Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies (co-edited by Sarah Hare, Jessica Kirschner, and Michelle Reed), was published by Mavs Open Press in 2020.
Requirements for Searchable Course Information
The Texas law (SB810) requires that institutions of higher education provide searchable information to students about OER-only courses. It defines OER as "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that allows for free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."
The requirement applies to all public and private institutions of higher education in the state of Texas.
The requirement applies beginning in Spring 2018.
SB810 amends existing price disclosure laws to increase transparency in communicating with students about resources required for their educational pursuits.
This guide introduces important considerations to discuss with stakeholders as you work collaboratively to determine and implement policies and processes that work best for your campus. The milestone reporting features will help you connect with others and share information more easily.
Texas Senate Bill 810 (SB810) requires the following:
The bill was signed into law in June 2017. Please note that SB810 requirements impacting K-12 education have been excluded from this overview. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) prepared a summary of the legislation and its impact on institutions of higher education.
Full text of THECB's 2017 legislative summary is available here.
Production of the Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (a living guide) was Michelle Reed's capstone project for the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program. With gratitude to Sarah Hare, Amy Hofer, Jessica Kirschner, Camille Thomas, Stephanie Towery, and Quill West for reviewing and providing feedback on this toolkit. This resource was last updated in August 2020.