Skip to Main Content

This Library Guide was created to help Brooklyn College faculty create Open Educational Resources (OER) for Brooklyn College students and beyond

Quick OER Guide | OER Created by Brooklyn Faculty | Brooklyn College Library

Faculty Guide on Open Education Resources (OER): How to Designate a course Zero Textbook Cost

Learn to create OER

Guidelines on How to Designate a course Zero Textbook Cost

  • ZTC/OER course sections are those that do not require students to purchase a textbook or lab manual or other types of course materials
  • ZTC/OER designated course sections may include recommended books, library materials, or materials provided at no cost by the instructor. Students may be asked to print out materials, if the materials are provided free of charge.
  • ZTC/OER designated courses need only be free of cost for textbooks. ZTC designated courses may include costs for supplies.
  • Any course section meeting this criterion and listed in the CUNYfirst schedule of classes is eligible. This includes:
    • Fully Online
    • Hybrid
    • In Person
    • Online
    • Partially Online
    • Web-Enhanced
  • Course sections (classes) are assigned the ZTC/OER attribute independently. Courses may have ZTC/OER designated sections as well as non-ZTC-designated sections, depending on the materials chosen by each section’s instructor.
  • Courses that consist of linked sections (e.g., lecture + labs) may have the ZTC/OER designation applied to whichever sections do not require purchase of a book. A course may have a ZTC/OER designated lab section, but require a textbook for the lecture section, for example.

Instructions on How to Designate a course Zero Textbook Cost

To Comply with the CUNY OER Grant: 

You must designate your course section with OER or Zero Cost in Akademos/CUNYfirst using the OER/Zero Cost course attribute.

Our mechanism for posting this information is via our online bookstore, which updates the class information in CUNYfirst.

Below you will find instructions for posting your OER/ZTC course material information. The bookstore portal is accessed using your CUNYfirst login:   Or

Alternate Adoption Settings:

If your course does not use traditional textbooks or course materials, check the box, “Alternate Adoption Settings" and then select one of the listed reasons.

Once you select an alternate setting, click "Continue" to submit it to the bookstore. This marks the course as complete.

When students visit the bookstore, they will see messaging saying that they do not need to make a purchase. You can add a course note in Step 3 with further information if you like. For example, if you are using Open Educational Resources, like OpenStax, you can choose the alternate setting "Course uses OER/Zero cost materials" and then add a link to the materials in your course note.

Alternate Adoption Settings Options:

OER/Zero cost: Select for courses where materials are provided to students for free (e.g. OpenStax).

After adding course materials and adjusting for special settings (or selecting alternate adoption settings) click “Next” at the top of the page to continue the adoption process.

For assistance with you course material adoptions, reach out to for help.

Thank you!