This bill requires the THECB to contract with a high-quality open educational resource repository to develop and maintain a web portal customized to meet the needs of individual institutions of higher education, students, and others who may benefit from access to open educational resources.
In June of 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 810 (SB810). This law includes several areas which impact Texas higher education institutions. It includes creation of a statewide OER grant program; it orders a feasibility study on the creation of a statewide OER repository; and lastly it establishing protocols for OER course designations in course catalogs, schedules, and registration systems.
The full text of the law relevant to course designations is copied below.
SECTION 35. Section 51.451, Education Code, is amended by adding Subdivision (4-a) to read as follows:
(4-a) "Open educational resource" means a teaching, learning, or research resource that is in the public domain or has been released under an intellectual property license that permits the free use, adaptation, and redistribution of the resource by any person. The term may include full course curricula, course materials, modules, textbooks, media, assessments, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques, whether digital or otherwise, used to support access to knowledge.
SECTION 36. Section 51.452, Education Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
(a) Each institution of higher education shall:
(1) for each semester or academic term, compile a course schedule indicating each course offered by the institution for the semester or term to postsecondary students;
(2) with respect to each course, include with the schedule a list of the required and recommended textbooks that specifies, to the extent practicable, the following information for each textbook:
(A) the retail price;
(B) the author;
(C) the publisher;
(D) the most recent copyright date; [
(E) the International Standard Book Number assigned, if any; and
(F) whether the textbook is an open educational resource;
(3) except as provided by Subsection (b), at the time required by Subsection (c)(2):
(A) publish the textbook list with the course schedule on the institution's Internet website and with any course schedule the institution provides in hard copy format to the students of the institution; and
(B) make that information available to college bookstores and other bookstores that generally serve the students of the institution; and
(4) except as provided by Subsection (b), as soon as practicable after the information becomes available disseminate as required by Subdivision (3) specific information regarding any revisions to the institution's course schedule and textbook list.
(d) If an institution of higher education or a college bookstore publishes a textbook list with a course schedule on an Internet website that provides a search function, the institution or bookstore must:
(1) ensure that the search function permits a search based on whether a course or section of a course requires or recommends only open educational resources; or
(2) provide a searchable list of courses and sections of courses that require or recommend only open educational resources.
SECTION 37. Section 51.453, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 51.453. TEXTBOOK ASSISTANCE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS. To the extent practicable, an institution of higher education shall make reasonable efforts to disseminate to its students information regarding:
(1) available institutional programs for renting textbooks or for purchasing used textbooks;
(2) available institutional guaranteed textbook buyback programs;
(3) available institutional programs for alternative delivery of textbook content; [
(4) the availability of courses and sections of courses that require or recommend only open educational resources; and
(5) other available institutional textbook cost-savings strategies.