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Open Education Resources

What are Open Education Resources?

North Idaho College is committed to the development and use of high-quality OER and low-cost materials.

Open Education Resources (OER) are resources with a Creative Commons license that are available free of cost to faculty and students. Using OER can make education more affordable and accessible by reducing the overall cost.

To learn more about OER, its value to colleges, faculty, and students, the different CC licenses, how to find OER, how to adapt or create OER, OER hosting tools, and OER interactivity tools, visit the Open Education Resources page of the OER@NIC & Project Z Canvas course.

Project Z

Launched in October, 2021 by the Idaho State Board of Education, the Project Z Initiative is a state-wide initiative aimed at creating a pathway for students to gain their Associate’s Degree with zero-or very low-textbook costs (under $30 per student per course). Compensation has been provided for instructors who utilize zero- or very low-cost textbooks in the form of Open Education Resources.

Since Fall of 2022, OER-adopting NIC faculty have saved students approximately $71,000 by replacing costly textbooks with high quality Open Education Resource textbooks. In addition, three OER have been created by NIC instructors in the last year with more currently in production. Messages That Matter became NIC’s first published OER Pressbook in May, 2023. In Summer 2023, a “low-cost materials” icon was added to the Course Catalog, which allows students to filter their course searches by this criteria, and find those courses which use OER, require no textbooks, or have textbooks that cost less than $30. If you are an instructor whose course should include a low-cost icon, please contact your department administrative assistant to have the designation added

To learn more about the Project Z initiative, what it entails, funding levels for instructors, the process and stages, and the different levels of use and funding, visit the Project Z page of the OER@NIC & Project Z Canvas course.

Select the following link to view the list of identified North Idaho College courses on the Project Z Pathway.
NIC Project Z Course List 

OER Trailblazers

Early adopters of Open Education Resources at NIC, OER Trailblazers are NIC faculty members who have adopted, adapted, or created OER and completed the Project Z initiative documentation to pave the way for our students to gain an Associate's Degree with only no-or low-cost(under $30) textbooks. Read about why they chose OER and how it has impacted them, their course, and their students.

Select the following link to view a list of North Idaho College instructors who are using OER resources in a course.
North Idaho College OER Trailblazers