Zero Textbook Cost Degree Toolkit

3 Who are Your Stakeholders?

This is a list of some potential stakeholders that can help you on your journey to establish a Zero Textbook Cost Degree.

Students

Students are at the centre of any Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree plan. Students interested in Open Educational Resources (OER) and affordable course readings can also be helpful advocates with administrators and instructors. Student Unions can be a key to advocating for OER and affordable course readings. The University of Regina student union webpage on Open Education gives acknowledgement and thanks to professors that use OER in their classroom.[1] Student statewide, provincial or national organizations can also be advocates for open education. For example OUSA, an Ontario-based student organization advocates as part of the world-wide #textbookbroke campaign. [2]

Instructors

Grassroots interest from instructors who want to help their students succeed and notice that some students do without textbooks often drives initial interest in OER adoption, and will probably do so as well for ZTC Degrees.[3]

Senior Administrators

Buy-in from Senior Administrators will be important in the establishment and maintenance of a ZTC Degree at an institution. Making education affordable, accessible and equitable for students is key to many institutions mission statements or academic plans. For example at Kwantlen Polytechnic University the Academic Goals and Strategies part of their Academic Plan embeds “open learning options,” which include both open educational resources and open pedagogy.[4]

Academic Coordinators

The subject and program expertise of the Academic Coordinator of a program can be very helpful in the establishment and maintenance of a ZTC Degree.

Instructional Designers

When creating new OER or redesigning a course, instructional design help, if available, can improve the instructional design of a ZTC course, and may even include innovative open pedagogy strategies. Mesa Community College see instructional designer and subject expert teams as important to creating ZTC degrees. [5]

Library

Your library may have an E-Reserve or syllabus checking service in which library links can be placed into an E-Reserve database, a Learning Management System (LMS) or into a syllabus so students can access Library e-resources at no additional cost. For example University of Guelph has an E-Reserve service that can help create affordable course readings.[6] You can find more about how libraries can support ZTC Degrees and open education in the chapter Leveraging Library Resources and Expertise.

Subject Librarians

Subject Librarians can help search for already existing OER and licensed library e-resources that can replace commercial textbooks. Mesa Community College love their librarians who help finding new OER and library resources for ZTC degrees.[7] They can also potentially order library licensed e-books that can be used by an entire class in some cases.

Campus Bookstore

If you are creating a ZTC Degree at some point you should communicate this to the Bookstore. If you have Open Textbooks in your ZTC Degree, you may want to work with your Bookstore to create a Print on Demand service, so students have the choice to order the material in print format at a reasonable cost. For example Kirkwood Community College’s Bookstore provides print on demand services for Open Textbooks.[8] You can find out more about ways to work with the Campus Store in the chapter Working With the Campus Bookstore.

Registrar’s Office

At some point in the development of a Zero Textbook Cost Degree, you will ideally want to mark the courses in your institution’s course registration system. To do so you will need to work closely with the Registrar’s Office or Department. Michelle Reed at the University of Texas created a helpful guide to working towards marking OER courses in registration systems.[9]


  1. University of Regina Student Union. (n.d.) Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from https://ursu.ca/services/textbooks-for-all/open-education-resources/
  2. Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). (n.d.) #textbookbroke OUSA. Retrieved from https://www.ousa.ca/textbookbroke
  3. Griffiths, R., Gardner, S., Lundh, P., Shear, L., Ball, A., Mislevy, J., Wang, S., Desrochers, D., Staisloff, R. (2018). Participant Experiences and Financial Impacts: Findings from Year 2 of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Retrieved from https://www.achievingthedream.org/sites/default/files/resources/participant_experiences_and_financial_impacts_oer_2018.pdf
  4. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. (2018). KPU Academic Plan 2018. Retrieved from https://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Provost%20and%20VP%20Academic/AcademicPlan-Vision2018_booklet_spreads_web.pdf
  5. Mesa Community College. (n.d.). Z Degree. Retrieved from https://ctl.mesacc.edu/teaching/z-degree/
  6. University of Guelph Library. (n.d.). Open and Affordable Course Content. Retrieved from https://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/find/find-type-resource/open-and-affordable-course-content
  7. Mesa Community College. (n.d.). Z Degree. Retrieved from https://ctl.mesacc.edu/teaching/z-degree/
  8. Kirkwood Community College Library. (n.d.). Open Textbooks, OER & Other Open or Free Resources for Faculty: OER Basics. Libguide. Retrieved from http://guides.kirkwood.edu/opentextbooks
  9. Reed. M. (2018). Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (a living guide): Examples. Libguide. The University of Texas at Arlington. Retrieved from https://libguides.uta.edu/TXtoolkit/examples

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Zero Textbook Cost Degree Toolkit by Ann Ludbrook, Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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