Some information on this LibGuide is provided with permission by the Florida Virtual Campus website on Zero Textbook Cost Indicator Overview. For more information visit: https://dlss.flvc.org/florida-zero-textbook-cost-indicator
What does Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) mean?
Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) refers to the cost of course materials required by students to succeed in that course. The ZTC course indicator is used as a course designation to inform students that there are no textbook costs required with the course. These ZTC courses are permitted to use library resources or other high-quality, freely available resources as long as there are zero costs for the students’ access and use of these resources.
How do I get the ZTC course designation?
If your course meets the criteria listed below based on Florida's Zero Textbook Cost Course Indicator, please complete the ZTC forms to provide your course numbers:
Florida’s Zero Textbook Cost Definition (criteria for FSCJ):
A Zero Textbook Cost icon may be placed with any course section requiring course materials at no cost to students.
What is the difference between ZTC and OER?
Zero-Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses use course materials that are available at no cost to the student. Zero-Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses may rely on a variety of no cost content, including open educational resources (OER), library resources, and other high quality, free to access resources to eliminate textbook costs for all students in that section.
OER - Open Educational Resources (OER) are created by applying open use rights through a content license. Depending on the license terms, OER may permit personal use, sharing, adapting, distributing, and/or remixing of the content. To put it simply: OER = Free + Permission to Use; ZTC = Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) refers to the student’s cost of required course materials in order to succeed in the course. It is used as a course designation to inform students that there are no textbook costs for the course. These ZTC courses are permitted to use library resources or other high-quality, freely available resources as long as there are zero costs for the students’ access and use of these resources.
Note: not all OER courses are also ZTC courses. In some instances, although the course may use all OER materials, there may be a cost for the students to access the platform with those OER materials.
The open and affordable community of Florida, OPEN FL, has defined open in a spectrum. As you begin around the O we start with public domain, the most open content we can use in an educational setting and where you should start your journey to find suitable, quality content. When you work your way around the O, the openness of the content actually closes, but all efforts support an open and affordable learning environment for our students.
Spectrum of Open is provided by the FLVC Library Services Open FL LibGuide.
What is the difference between course materials and course supplies?
Course materials associated with the section may include textbooks, workbooks, ancillaries, homework, quizzes, etc. Course materials must be no cost to students to obtain the Zero Textbook (ZTC) Cost course indicator.
Course supplies associated with the section may include scantrons, scientific calculators, lab materials, etc. Course supplies will often result in an incurred cost for the student. Required course supplies are not considered a textbook cost, so if a course section meets the parameters noted in the definition (link), but has a supplies fee, the section may still be considered ZTC course.
If a course has an assessment fee (e.g. remote proctored test, program outcomes assessment), could the course qualify for ZTC?
Yes, as long as there is a free assessment option for the student, the course can qualify as a ZTC course.
In the catalog search, choose Course Attribute - No Textbook Required:
Does this align with Textbook Affordability initiatives around the state of Florida?
Yes, Florida is committed to improving access to high quality, higher education with affordable or no cost textbooks and materials for all students. Below are a few examples of additional efforts in Florida:
2022 Senate Bill 1006.73:
Each Florida College System institution and state university shall post prominently in its course registration system and on its website, as early as is feasible, but at least 45 days before the first day of class for each term, courses that utilize open educational resources and have zero textbook costs as indicated by an icon next to each eligible course.