Open Educational Resources and the ZTC Challenge

This week the Governor’s Office announced the Zero Textbook Cost Challenge. This new promotional program is designed for faculty and staff at Colorado’s higher education institutions. Participants can take training courses on how to create and use open educational resources (OERs) in the classroom, as well as engage with the Governor’s Office and the Department of Higher Education regarding the use and promotion of OERs. Interested faculty and staff can learn more about OERs and the ZTC Challenge at the State’s Colorado Open Education Ambassadors website. ZTC is also recognizing outstanding educators who have incorporated OERs into their curriculum. Nominations are being accepted here through April 30, 2020.

This fall, the Colorado Department of Higher Education also released a significant report on OERs in Colorado. Transforming Educational Practices Through Open Educational Resources explores the rising cost of textbooks and how OERs can help make college more affordable for students. According to the report, the price of textbooks has risen faster than inflation, with textbook costs increasing nearly 900% since 1980!

From Transforming Educational Practices with Open Educational Resources

The report was required as part of HB18-1331, which created a Colorado Open Educational Resources Council and provides for the expansion and support of the use of OERs in the state’s publicly-funded higher education institutions. For further details see the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s OER webpage.