Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Textbook Cost: $0 class?

A Textbook Cost: $0 class is a designation for a class that does not require students to purchase any course materials out-of-pocket.  Course materials include textbooks, readings, online tutorial and quiz platforms, software programs, etc.  Classes may use a variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs), online resources, library resources, and faculty-authored materials to replace commercially-produced textbooks, 

So, there is no textbook?           

Not necessarily. It could be:

a.     There is no required textbook for the class but course materials are no-cost and freely accessible, or

b.     The textbook may be an electronic book either freely accessible or available via the library.

 What is the purpose behind this designation? 

Commercial textbook prices have increased by 150% since 1998--three times faster than the overall Consumer Price Index over the same time period.  The cost of higher education keeps increasing and one way faculty can have a direct impact on relieving this burden on students is by eliminating textbook costs.  The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement enables faculty to adopt high-quality, no-cost, openly licensed textbooks and other course materials in place of expensive commercial textbooks.  The Textbook Cost: $0 designation gives students the ability to make informed choices that have the potential to reduce their educational costs. 

Is Textbook Cost: $0 the same as OER?

No. Textbook Cost: $0 is a designation for classes that do not require students to pay for course materials. Materials in Textbook Cost: $0 classes can be entirely OER, include OER with other materials that are not OER but no cost to students, or use all no cost, non-OER materials.  The main thing is students are not required to purchase course materials in Textbook Cost: $0 classes.  

Who designates a class as Textbook Cost: $0? 

Faculty are responsible for designating their classes as Textbook Cost: $0. 

How do I designate my class Textbook Cost: $0?

Both Leeward CC and Kapiolani CC require instructors to notify their Division Secretary of this designation. 

Does anyone verify that Textbook Cost: $0 classes are indeed classes that do not require students to purchase textbooks and other course materials? 

No.  This is a voluntary designation initiated by the instructor.  Instructors designating a class Textbook Cost: $0 are stating in writing that students will not have to purchase any course materials required for the successful completion of their class.  It is the responsibility of an instructor to ensure that their class meets the definition of Textbook Cost: $0. 

Where does the Textbook Cost: $0 designation appear? 

The “Textbook Cost: $0” appears on the class availability list website at the beginning of the Comments field for the class.  To identify Textbook Cost: $0 classes press Ctrl F to open a search box.  Enter search Textbook Cost to highlight Textbook Cost: $0 classes on the page.  

Would some of these Textbook Cost: $0 classes still require payment for Access Codes to online learning material like homework, exercises, additional reading, MyMathLab, MyWritingLab, etc.? 

No.  Textbook Cost: $0 designated classes must use only course materials that are freely available to students from the first day of class. 

How do I get my campus to allow me to designate my class Textbook Cost: $0? 

Contact an administrator, member of faculty senate, librarian, or educational technologist on your campus.  They will direct you or will put you in touch with someone who can help you with designating your course as Textbook Cost: $0.