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Open Educational Resources (OERs) @ Hostos: FAQs - Using Hostos ZTC/OER Textbooks

FAQs for Faculty Interested in Using Hostos ZTC/OER Textbooks:

Q: What does ZTC/OER stand for?

A: ZTC stands for “zero textbook cost” and refers to materials that are freely available for Hostos students to use at no cost. These may be materials that are made available through a subscription or purchase by the Hostos Library, or they may have an “open” license that authorizes their use, or it could simply be that the copyright owner has chosen to make these materials freely available on the Internet. OER stands for “open educational resources” and usually refers to materials that have an “open” license. Learn more about open licenses here:

Q: What ZTC/OER Textbooks are available for Hostos courses?

A: These are all available from this page:

Q: Where did these materials come from? Who created them? Are these high quality textbook alternatives?

A: Most of these materials were created, compiled, and adapted by your faculty colleagues at Hostos, with Hostos courses and Hostos students in mind. A few of those listed are OER textbooks that were created by faculty at other institutions and adopted/adapted by your colleagues to fit a specific Hostos course. In some cases these have been put through a peer-review process.

Q: If I’m interested in adopting one of these ZTC/OER textbooks, what are my next steps?

A: There are a few steps:

  1. If you work with a Course Manager and/or Unit Coordinator, you may want to check in with them to see if there are any course-specific requirements for textbook selection.
  2. Consider how you will provide your students with access to the materials (see FAQ below).
  3. There are a couple of steps to take to make sure your course section is designated as a ZTC/OER section in CUNYFirst. Designating the course as ZTC/OER allows students to search for these courses in the Schedule of Classes. Here's how:

Q: How do I provide my students with access to these materials?

A: There are options:

  1. You can share the link to the ZTC/OER Textbook that you will find on the Hostos ZTC/OER Textbooks page (see link below), either within Blackboard or by some other means.
  2. You can share links to specific parts of the ZTC/OER Textbook (e.g., units, chapters, documents, webpages, etc.).
  3. You can use the Springshare LTI tool to embed the ZTC/OER Textbook within your Blackboard shell (see link below).

Q: What if I’m interested in creating/curating new ZTC/OER Textbooks?

A: Contact Professor Linda Miles. We would love to work with you to develop new ZTC/OER resources. This program has been so valuable in the real savings it has provided for our students. Stipends may be available for this work, depending on funding.