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ZTC Course Marking

Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) course marking at UAA defined and explained.

In This Guide

Introducing Course Marking

ZTC (or Zero Textbook Cost) course markings allow students and others to search for and easily identify course sections that have zero total textbook cost. When students have the ability to locate courses that best meet their needs, they are able to make informed decisions at the time of registration and efficiently plan their academic careers.

You can now search for ZTC courses in UAOnline!

Common Questions Answered

What is a ZTC course or section?
How is ZTC calculated?
What do ZTC courses use instead of commercial textbooks?
What about low cost courses?
How do I find ZTC courses at UAA?
I am a faculty member. How do I report whether my courses are ZTC?
I am a department chair/director. What do I need to do?
I am a course scheduler. What do I need to do?
I am a student. What should I know about this?
I have other questions. Who can I ask?

What is a ZTC course or section?

A Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) class or course section is one that doesn’t require students to purchase any course materials to be successful in the course.

Note that the ZTC marking applies to individual sections of a course. For example, it is possible for one HIST 101 class this semester to have zero textbook costs while another HIST 101 class this semester uses commercial materials.

How is ZTC calculated?

For the purposes of marking courses as “ZTC”, all required course materials for each course are evaluated; optional materials are disregarded. When a course material can accessed online for free and also has a print format available for purchase, the former will be marked required and the latter will be optional.

Course materials are those resources used to convey course information or evaluate student performance, including (but not limited to): books/ebooks, lab manuals, workbooks, and homework/courseware systems. Course supplies (such as calculators, art supplies, and lab safety equipment) and fees (except when assessed specifically for access to course materials) are not included in calculating course materials costs.

What do ZTC courses use instead of commercial textbooks?

ZTC courses may use a variety of different free-to-access/open-access digital resources, library resources*, teacher- and student-created resources, or resources that are openly licensed (OER/open educational resources) or in the public domain. Sometimes these are collectively referred to as ZTC resources. Sometimes a course will use no textbooks or similar course materials at all.

* Note for faculty: Use of library resources count for a ZTC course marking when the resources have unlimited simultaneous users and links to the materials are provided to students. Contact your liaison librarian for assistance.

What about low cost courses?

Some universities have both a low-cost marking and no-cost marking (ZTC). It is substantially more complex to implement a low cost maker compared to a zero cost marker. UAA will focus on implementing a ZTC course marking first before exploring the possibility of a low cost marking.

How do I find ZTC courses at UAA?

A step-by-step guide to finding these courses in UAOnline is available on the Student Guidance tab.

I am a faculty member. How do I report whether my courses are ZTC?

See the Faculty Guidance page for additional guidance beyond these commonly asked questions. This page is also helpful for department chairs/directors who create course schedules for their departments.

I am a department chair/director. What do I need to do?

When you created the course schedule, you will need to provide a place for faculty to indicate whether or not each course section that will appear in the schedule qualifies as ZTC (yes/no). The spreadsheet that you share with schedulers should clearly denote whether each course section qualifies as ZTC

Information on the Faculty Guidance page may be helpful for you as well.

I am a course scheduler. What do I need to do?

Departments chairs/directors will provide you with course information for their schedules for you to enter as usual. During that process you will add a section level attribute to denote ZTC courses. See the Section Level Attribute Guide for detailed guidance (same process as adding COVID-19 attributes).

Questions about entering ZTC attributes should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at uaa.publications@alaska.edu or 786-1480 (option 5).

I am a student. What should I know?

Check back out the Student Guidance tab!

I have other questions. Who can I ask?

Contact D'Arcy Hutchings (dlhutchings@alaska.edu).

Contact Me

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D'Arcy Hutchings
Contact:
Instructional Design Librarian,
Associate Professor
dlhutchings@alaska.edu
907.786.1982

Creative Commons License

Some language in the Introducing Course Marking box on this page is adapted from Marking Open and Affordable Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies by Sarah Hare, Jessica Kirschner, & Michelle Reed, eds., licensed CC-BY.

 

Creative Commons License

This work by D'Arcy Hutchings is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Note that linked content is covered by its own licenses.

We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.