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OER and ZTC for Faculty: Equity and Inclusion

Faculty Guide on Open Educational Resources (OER) and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) classes.

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OER and Equity Studies

OER can be used to make education more equitable not just in terms of access and cost but in terms of representation. Below are more resources about OER and Equity.

Other Equity Resources

Other resources linking equity and OER can be found below.

Assessing Your Textbook for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA)

You've found a really great OER textbook but notice that like many other textbooks it may not be up to date or as inclusive as it should be. What do you do? Thankfully with OER you can revise the textbook! 

Revising an OER Textbook

If you choose to revise (also called adapt or remix) an OER textbook, there are certain things to consider.  

  1. Make sure that the license allows revision. A CC license with an ND (No Derivatives) does not allow revision.
  2. Determine if the format of the textbook is editable. For example, a PDF is hard and cumbersome to edit where as a work in LibreText would be more feasible.
  3. How much revision is needed? You won't know this until you look more closely at the text. You may find that some simple updates are needed or that the text is missing content and requires a larger revision. Determine if you have the time and energy required.
  4. Make a plan. Consider putting together a team so no one person is overly burdened.
  5. Lastly, once you are done, make sure to share your efforts with the open community.

Conducting an Open Textbook Survey for Equity and Inclusion

One place you can start to assess a textbook is to answer some directed questions about the text. Having several people look at the text can help find more areas that may need improvement. 

Mandeep Grewal developed an openly license survey that can be used as a jumping off point for assessing a text:

Open Textbook Survey for Equity and Inclusion

Using a Framework for Reviewing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA) in Open Educational Resources

Once you have determined the general areas that may need revision in a text, you should look at more specific areas that may need assessment and revision. For example how inclusive are your photos and illustrations? What terminology and references are you using? How can you improve on these and other elements to make your text more representative of your student population? The ASCCC OERI has developed a tool to help audit and improve an OER text, other resources, or even an online class. You can take a look at the ASCCC OERI Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA) Audit 9-27-21 Version 1 to help evaluate your resources. For more information or to provide feedback please see the ASCCC OERI Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA) Audit Framework page or contact Rachel Arteaga at arteagara@butte.edu.


If you would like to know more about the textbook survey and editing process, you can watch the recording of the webinar where Butte's Mandeep Grewal talks about her process. There are also several other great presenters that speak on "Decolonizing Higher Ed Through Open Ed."

Image Resources for Inclusive Representation

Below are a collection of websites that provide diverse and inclusive stock photos to add to OER or to use in your courses. Please note the license to make sure you are following the terms of the license correctly.