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OER at Yavapai College

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational materials that are openly licensed. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can can retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute them (the 5 R's), according to a widely accepted definition of OER. The use of OER among YC Faculty continues to grow, and this effort is led by the OER Committee, the VP of Academics and the Manager of Academic Initiatives.

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

Get Started with OER


Free resources may or may not be openly licensed; one can give away their own copyrighted materials, but that doesn't make it OER. Open educational resources are openly licensed, meaning:

Simply put, OER is openly licensed - that is the single distinguishing factor!

Get involved

The college is actively promoting the creation of OER "Z-classes" and programs. Faculty may be eligible for a stipend for developing an OER course. The current stipends according to levels of development are in this document: OER - Faculty Stipends. The current amounts are based on courses that are at least 3 credit hours and demonstrate a student need.

Read the Yavapai College OER Policy for further guidance.

The process for building an OER "Z-class" at YC:

  1. Instructor enrolls in OER training course - see details below.
  2. Instructor applies to get stipend to build course - see application link below.
  3. Academic VP approves and identifies appropriate stipend tier level; course is marked as "Zero cost OER Textbooks" in registration system for appropriate future term.
  4. By the textbook adoption date, OER instructor notifies their ISS that they will not have materials in the bookstore.

  5. Instructor builds course according to this rubric, then submits it for approval to tels@yc.edu.

  6. TeLS reviews course and, if neccessary, works with instructor to complete OER build.
  7. TeLS approves course and sends notification to faculty builder.
  8. Faculty uploads course cartridge to OER Commons Hub; faculty notifies Megan Crossfield and stipend is issued.

DEADLINES: Submit your finished course to TeLS for approval before the textbook adoption dates of the semester you intend to offer the course.

  • Fall – April 1
  • Spring – October 1
  • Summer – March 1

OER training course, required of all OER builders & teachers

A self-paced, online training course is required of any teacher building or teaching an official OER course at YC. It requires an estimated 10 hours of time, and teachers can earn a $200 stipend for completing the course. 

Enroll in the OER training course

Lumen Learning Courseware - Free for Students in OER courses

Faculty who complete the course can take advantage of Yavapai College's agreement with Lumen Learning to use any of its courseware without passing any cost to the student - for free. 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.

How YC does OER

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, by Dr. Diane Ryan and Megan Crossfield.

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

Article from InsideHigherEd “OER Awareness in HE” from Jan. 9th, 2016

Tidewater CC “Z-Degree” Program

This video of Dr. Jhangiani 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

The Canvas Commons has some OER resources - look for open licenses on specific content or search OER.

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