The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption


  • David Wiley Brigham Young University
  • Linda Williams Tidewater Community College
  • Daniel DeMarte Tidewater Community College
  • John Hilton Brigham Young University



Open Educational Resources, OER, sustainability models, student success, Z Degree, instructional materials and practices


A growing body of research confirms the financial and academic benefits that accrue to students whose faculty adopt open educational resources, or OER. While there are no content licensing costs associated with using OER, there are several real costs that must be incurred by an institution that chooses to support its faculty in adopting OER. The Z-Degree initiative at Tidewater Community College utilizes only OER for the 21 courses, providing a pathway for students to earn an associate of science degree in business administration without ever buying a textbook. The authors introduce and illustrate the INTRO (INcreased Tuition Revenue through OER) model for sustaining the provision of OER adoption services. The adoption of OER as part of the Z-Degree decreases drop rates among Tidewater students, allowing the institution to retain tuition revenue it would otherwise have refunded. This retained revenue provides a renewable source of funds to sustainably support the adoption of OER.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

David Wiley, Brigham Young University

Dr. David Wiley is Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning and adjunct faculty in Brigham Young University’s graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology, where he leads the Open Education Group. Dr. Wiley has received numerous recognitions for his work, including an NSF CAREER grant, an appointment as Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, and a Shuttleworth Fellowship.

Linda Williams, Tidewater Community College

Linda Williams, MBA, MSA, is a Professor of Business Management & Administration at Tidewater Community College.  She served as the faculty lead for Tidewater's Z Degree and continues to lead OER initiatives at the college to expand Z course offerings and launch additional Z Degrees.

Daniel DeMarte, Tidewater Community College

Daniel DeMarte is the vice president for academic affairs at Tidewater Community College. He serves as the lead for Tidewater's Z-Degree and provides support to faculty in achieving the full potential of Open Educational Resources (OER).   

John Hilton, Brigham Young University

John Hilton III is an Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. He studies the efficacy of Open Educational Resources as well as other topics in pedagogy.




How to Cite

Wiley, D., Williams, L., DeMarte, D., & Hilton, J. (2016). The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24, 41.



Models of Open Education in Higher Education