Tom Caswell, Program Manager for the Open Course Library, reported 10, 000 visitors to their site since its official launch of the first 42 courses on October 31, 2011. He sums up the project which will contain 81 open courses targeted at the highest-enrolled general education classes for lower division college students as thus:
“The Open Course Library is a collection of expertly developed educational materials designed by faculty and openly shared with the world. It includes textbooks, syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments for 81 high-enrollment college courses.”
“42 courses have been completed so far, providing faculty with a high-quality, affordable option that will cost students no more than $30 for course materials.”
“Faculty (anywhere) can modify and build on some or all of the course materials. There are no strings attached. We only ask that faculty cite the Open Course Library in their course and fill out our short adoption form.”
Image Credit: Timothy Valentine & Leo Reynolds CC-BY-NC-SA
Education-Portal.com just announced the winners of their first annual OCW People’s Choice Awards, which honor the best of the Open Education Movement. Over 4000 people voted for their best educational resources in this inaugural contest.
College Open Textbooks was recognized as the OCW People’s Choice Winner for Most Open. According to Education-Portal.com, “Openness is a key part of any OCW – after all, it’s in the name. But what providers excel at giving their users a wealth of material to access and lots of different ways to do it? The nominees in this category all understand that to make courseware truly open, variety and depth are key.” The finalists included Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and UC Irvine OCW.
Other winners included Open Course Library, FGV Online, African Virtual University OER, Open Study, MIT Physics and more. For more information on the complete list of winners, go to http://education-portal.com/articles/OCW_Peoples_Choice_Award_Winners_Final_List.html
With their students facing the same pressures from the economy and rising textbook prices as everywhere else in the country, the staff and faculty at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) have stretched to find solutions. Comprising 25 community and technical colleges and seven state universities, MnSCU is administered by the Office of the Chancellor in St. Paul.
It has been to this office and to Todd Digby, System Director of Libraries, that the leadership role has fallen. Digby explains that there was a legislative push in the state to reduce textbook costs for students, and because he was involved in both online education and library resources, he was recruited to look into possible alternatives, including the development and adoption of open textbooks and educational materials.
While meeting a favorable response to the concept among many faculty members, Digby found that he needed to put practical tools in the hands of instructors if they were to actually go forward, develop, and use open resources. Aware, too, that individuals and institutions around the country were engaged in efforts to create materials and make them available, he has put his energy into providing what he sees as the critical “wraparound services” that can contribute to success. From the outset two needs were identified: first, creating an online repository for Minnesota schools, and second, providing adequate development tools to faculty so they could create teaching materials in useable formats.
The first of these, building and maintaining a repository, is now being implemented through the Minnesota Learning Commons (MNLC), a partnership of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Department of Education along with public K-12 schools. Not just a home for online textbooks, MNLC hosts a wide range of learning resources, including introductory learning materials and course parts. The MNLC site also provides a gateway link to the National Repository of Online Courses (NROC), which is hosted by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.
To be continued.