Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions:

  • What is it? 
    The Open Course Library is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of our materials (also called open educational resources) are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less), many of them are completely free.
  • Is it designed to replace faculty or face-to-face instruction?
    No, the Open Course Library does not replace faculty or force them to teach online. You can utilize the contents for your online, hybrid, or f2f course.
  • I already have a great course! Do I have to adopt the whole course?
    No, you do not have to adopt the entire course. You can navigate through the course contents and simply take the parts you need; you are free to modify those parts and use them as you like.
  • Who owns the courses?
    These course materials were created through an optional Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) grant, and the SBCTC Open Licensing Policy requires that all materials created through optional grants carry an open license. Unless otherwise noted, the Open Course Library materials are owned by SBCTC and are freely shared to the world with a Creative Commons Attribution-only license (CC-BY)
  • How do faculty use the course contents?
    All curriculum developed for the Open Course Library is free, digital, and shareable (unless otherwise noted). We invite faculty everywhere to explore, copy, customize, translate and adopt any and all course materials. We only ask that you give us credit somewhere in your course. Here’s an example: “[Portions of] or [This] course adapted from the Open Course Library of the Washington State Colleges. More information at http://opencourselibrary.org.” We also encourage you to use Creative Commons to openly license your course materials and share it with others.
  • Are there any costs?
    Some courses currently require the purchase of a low-cost textbook. If an OCL course requires the purchase of a textbook or other resource, the cost may not exceed $30 per student. All other materials are free and there is no cost to adopt the course.
  • How can I contribute to the Open Course Library?
    Adopt the materials, spread the word, and to share your own course materials online with a Creative Commons open license. If you have specific suggestions or comments, please contact us at wa-online@sbctc.edu.