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Faculty and staff services and resources

This guide gathers together resources to assist faculty in using CCC Library's tools, research tutorials, and services.

Choosing required and recommended course material

tClip art of a person carrying a tall stack of booksl;dr: Course materials are a resource FOR your curriculum; they should not BE the curriculum.

After you have determined your learning objectives (LOs), aligned your assessments to them, and parsed out what students need to be able to do to successfully complete your assessments, it is finally time to look for course materials!

Continue keeping alignment front of mind: your goal is to find course materials directly relevant to your learning objectives. 

To help you with this goal, CCC librarians have created a checklist of considerations and tips for evaluating potential course material. We are happy to consult with you about your ideas and how you can get started exploring your options.

Evaluating course materials - avoid textbook DRAMAA

Avoid textbook drama by evaluating your course materials, using the DRAMAA checklist. DRAMAA stands for DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), Recurring assessment, Alignment, Multiple modalities, Affordability, and Accessibility.  

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

  • The following ideas all support DEI principles as foundational considerations when selecting course material. In addition, consider the following criteria in your course material:
    • Points of view. Are they representative of multiple points of views and narratives? 
    • Voice and representation. Are the histories and perspectives presented by multiple voices and cultures, or only those that are historically dominant? Are they written by folks with different lived experiences?
    • Imagery and video representations. Are there diverse cultures, identities, languages, and experiences represented and celebrated?
  • There are some other ideas here: Tips for Evaluating Textbooks for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Recurring Assessment

Evaluating your course materials isn't a one-time deal. Make sure you build assessment of your course material into your regular course evaluation process. 

  • Standard end-of-term course evaluations ask students to rate “the instructor provides the course material in a clear and useful format.” Let’s be real; how much does that question give you meaningful feedback? 
    • Using an anonymous survey, a discussion forum, or a “write your response, wad up your paper, and toss it onto my desk with your best basketball follow-through,” consider asking for feedback:
      • at multiple points in the term to gauge how students are using the material
      • if students consider the course materials relevant to the learning outcomes
      • if students think the course materials contribute to their success in your course


  • Does the content in the material match the content in your LOs and assessments? Is the primary focus of the content addressing your LOs? 
    • When you review alignment you may find that there’s content that does not relate to LOs or assessments.
    • Remove it - don’t assign it, or take it out (if you’re using a remixable object). Doing so reduces student workload and helps channel their finite time and energy to what actually matters.
  • Do the performance standards modeled in the material align with your rubrics and expectations for student success?
  • Be transparent with your students: Highlight the alignment between your LOs, assessments, and course materials / readings. 

Multiple Modalities

  • Are you communicating information and sharing course material in varied ways? 
    • This strategy coupled with your varied and inclusive teaching strategies supports students in developing connections with ideas, peers, YOU, and fosters belonging. 
    • It increases equitable access to information, increases opportunity to bring in different ways of knowing and forms of knowledge (instead of the ol’ printed textbook from a big publisher).
    • Leverage technology. Make your own short videos (with accompanying transcripts). Moodle and H5P (for interactive tutorials) are tools provided by the college. There are options for getting help with these under the “Faculty” link at the top of every Moodle page.
    • Check out our Types of Materials section below for ideas.


Did you know that on average, full-time CCC students pay $1800 a year for books and supplies? In fact, textbook prices disproportionately impact community college students. Let’s do better! 

  • Can you partner with our Textbook Affordability Librarian ( to provide free access to materials? 
  • Low-Cost Texts (LCT) are under $40, and courses that have them get a special designation in the course schedule. Questions? Take a peek at CCC Library’s LCT FAQ!
  • No-Cost is better! No-cost materials are correlated with improved final grades and reduced drop, fail, and withdraw rates! Consider:
    • Is there an Open Educational Resource (OER) that you can adopt or adapt? 
    • Check what other Oregon instructors are using on OpenOregon’s resources page
    • Do some searching in an open-access database
  • Course Reserves. Instructors are required to make course materials available in the library. The Library loves providing this service - it’s our most popular collection! Check out our Course Reserves page for more information. You can also read ISP170 and ISP170P which talk about this requirement. 
  • Is there material freely available online (or in the library!) that you can use?
    • Beware of Fair Use / Copyright. There are rules around how materials can be used and shared in education. Check out CCC Library’s Copyright Resources Guide for more information and access our Fair Use Checklist.
  • Make sure to report your adoptions to the bookstore on time. This helps them source the least expensive options for your students!


  • Work with CCC’s Disability Resources Center (DRC) to ensure that all required print material is available in an eReader-accessible format, and that any required electronic material (including inclusive access titles and eBooks) is available in a print version.
  • Content should be formatted consistently, utilize headings, and be presented in a font and color that is easy to read.
  • Make sure your electronic materials work across different platforms.
  • If using video, make sure there is closed captioning or a transcript available.
  • When using infographics or images, make sure they have ALT text - contextual descriptions of the image that can be read by screen reader software. 


Types of materials

There are so many options! 

  • Streaming Films / Videos. CCC Library subscribes to several streaming video databases; we lovingly refer to them as “Academic Netflix.” We can purchase individual titles for you, too! Check out the Kanopy Catalog for availability, then fill out the Suggest a Purchase Form with your choices!
  • Articles. A great way to get different voices on a topic and pull together content that relates directly to the course LOs. CCC Library subscribes to a number of article databases and can get articles you need through InterLibrary Loan (ILL) if we don’t have what you need. Article databases.
  • Ebooks. Not all books are available as Ebooks. Make sure not to pick a book that is dependent on a specific device or platform that students may have to purchase. The library may be able to work with you to buy unlimited simultaneous use eBooks…but it’s really dependent on what the publishers allow, so contact us early if you think you want to go this route. Ebook databases.
  • Open Education Resources (OER). OER have a lot of possibilities: they can be a textbook that you have adopted, adapted, or authored; they can also be websites, articles, videos, and more - basically content that is free and open to folks to use. OER are usually shared under creative commons licenses (versus traditional, strict copyright licenses). Find OER resources at Open Oregon or our OER Search page.
  • Scholarly/Trade books. Finding books that aren’t (capital T) Textbooks are another way to reach LO needs. These books are usually less expensive than traditional textbooks, and often don’t release new editions as frequently, making it possible for students to find used copies.
  • Textbooks. Textbooks are only one way to meet the needs of a class. If considering a textbook, make sure it aligns with your LOs. Beware of high costs, frequency of edition changes, and if you are using a whole textbook, but only need a small amount of it, consider finding another source.
  • Websites. Using trustworthy and credible websites is another way to include content that can support LOs and be affordable. If the website has ads, make sure to warn your students. Also, since you won’t have control over the content, it is helpful to regularly check that links work and the content hasn’t changed.
  • Your students! CCC has some amazing instructors practicing open and constructivist pedagogy by empowering students to author the course material. Check out A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students. Here's a CCC example: FYE102 students paying-it-forward through identifying scholarship resources.

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