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OER at Yavapai College

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Works in the public domain or other unrestricted terms of use may also be defined as OER.

the five r's of OER: retain, redistribute, revise, remix and reuse

Get Started with OER

The college is actively promoting the creation of OER courses, also called "Z-courses" (Z for "zero cost OER textbook"). Faculty may be eligible for a stipend for developing an OER course. The current amounts are based on courses that are at least 3 credit hours and demonstrate a student need.

The OER Handbook is YC's guide for the use and development of OER.

Summary of OER course build process at YC

  1. Faculty enrolls in OER Training for Course Builders.
  2. Faculty applies to build course - course build application.
  3. If approved, the college identifies appropriate stipend tier level and notifies faculty.
  4. Faculty agrees to memorandum of understanding (MOU) and course is marked as "Zero cost OER Textbooks" in registration system for appropriate term.
  5. Faculty has kickoff meeting with OER support team (instructional designer and OER librarian) and proceeds with course build.
  6. Faculty submits course for review by deadline.
  7. Course is approved and stipend is issued.

General deadlines for OER course builds

Courses for Spring 2025 term:

  • Approvals announced: July 7
  • Courses ready for review – October 1

Courses for Fall 2025 term:

  • Approvals announced: November 6
  • Courses ready for review – March 31

Open Educational Resources (OER) Training Courses

OER Training for Course Builders

This course will introduce the meaning, benefits, and challenges of open educational resources (OER) and open pedagogy course design. Faculty will learn about the process for building an OER course at YC, open licensing, where to locate OER, and how to revise, remix, and create OER resources. OER courses are also called "Z-courses" (Z for "zero textbook cost").
This self-paced course is facilitated by YC staff and faculty and is required for any faculty member to complete before building Z-courses.

Completers receive a $200 stipend.

Register at the OER course registration site.

OER Training for Teachers

This is a completely asynchronous training that can be completed in approximately 3-4 hours. Faculty who are teaching a course with an approved OER course shell must complete this training.

Completers receive a $100 stipend.

Register at the OER course registration site.

Contact megan.crossfield@yc.edu with questions about OER course enrollment.

Lumen Learning Courseware - free for students in Z-courses

Faculty course builders can take advantage of Yavapai College's agreement with Lumen Learning to use any of its courseware without passing any cost to the student. These comprise an entire course curriculum that can be imported into Canvas, making it simpler for teachers to have complete content that also has the adaptable qualities of OER.
If you find courseware you would like to try contact us at tels@yc.edu and request a Canvas course cartridge you can import into a sandbox course to see how it works. 

NOTE: Lumen courseware is not currently free for dual-enrollment courses.

Lumen support site
Lumen courseware catalog
Lumen's Faculty Video Library provides short videos to answer common questions.
Lumen technical support submit a ticket.

Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona Grant

In June 2021, the Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona project was awarded $801,218 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). Led by Yavapai College, this regional collaborative of seven community colleges will develop Open Educational Resources (OER) to reduce the amount of money students must spend on textbooks. The three-year initiative will foster the creation of more OER.

To get involved and learn more about the project, please contact Megan Crossfield, Manager of Academic Initiatives & Special Projects at 928-717-7627 or Megan.Crossfield@yc.edu

YC news about the grant award
Open Textbooks for Rural AZ website

Alternatives: Low Textbook Cost Courses - $50 Threshold at YC

Today there are many low-cost alternative materials on the market. The college has decided if the total cost of a course's required materials are $50 or less, these qualify to be marked as "Low Cost Textbooks" in the registration system.

OER Successes at Yavapai College

YC and its faculty are joining teachers around the globe in the effort to lower student costs. 


October 2022: White paper highlighting the HLC quality initiative report for OER

Please read this flyer highlighting many of the results of the quality initiative so far.

August 2020: Dr. Van Lieu and Dr. Palmer were recognized for creating an OER Writers Guide in the OER Digest.

Videos and Presentations

Learn About OER

This keynote covers a wide spectrum OER issues and solutions:

Content Resources 

Start exploring on your own with the resources linked below. It is normal to use content from multiple sources along with your own content (remixing).

The YC Library OER Guide

Creative Commons image search engine

Skills Commons - OER for workforce development and vocational subjects

Community College Consortium for OER

OER Commons


The Teaching Commons

BC Campus & OpenEd


U of Arizona OER

Open Washington

Open Oregon

California Open Online Library

Open Course Library

Open Textbook Library

Scottsdale Community College- Math

George Mason OER Metafinder

The Student Textbook Game