Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources and Zero-Cost Course Materials

Zero-Cost Symbol in the Course Catalog

If you do not require your students to purchase any materials for your class, your course needs to be listed as zero cost in the course schedule!

Our students actively search for courses with the zero-cost emblem when selecting classes, so accurately labeling your course is important. 

What are Open Educational Resources?



UNESCO Definition: Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium- digital or otherwise- that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license the permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

The 5 Rs of OER

OER users have permission to: 

Retain: Make, own, and control copies of content

Reuse: Use unaltered content in a wide range of ways (posting on Titanium, distributing in class, emailing to colleagues and students, etc.)

Revise: Adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself

Remix: The original or revised content can be combined with other open content to create something new

Redistribute: Original content, your revisions, and your remixes can be shared with others

Open vs. Zero-Cost

Open Materials:

  • Example: Open Educational Resources such as OpenStax Textbooks 
  • Funding for creation often provided through grants from non-profit organizations
  • Anyone can access and use the materials without restriction
  • Materials are open domain or have licenses that specifically allow adaptation and sharing 

Zero-Cost Materials:

  • Example: Library or university resources such as books, ebooks, journals, software, etc. 
  • No additional cost for students, but the university pays to purchase
  • Only accessible to current members of the university students, faculty, staff
  • Licenses vary, limiting or prohibiting the capability for saving, remixing, adapting, or sharing materials