Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three things you should know about the Open Course Library

It's been 11 days since the launch of the Open Course Library and we had our 10,000th visitor today. The launch of these 42 courses was covered at least 67 times by reporters and bloggers, which will hopefully lead to increased faculty adoptions. The Student PIRGs has also written a cost analysis of the Open Course Library which shows that the textbook savings being realized this year alone is already more than the cost of the project itself. As of the first week the course materials we created have been adopted by faculty in New York, Oregon, Washington, and Romania.
After lots of practice talking with reporters last week, I've come up with a quick summary of the project and three things you should know about the Open Course Library:

What is the Open Course Library?
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.

The Open Course Library is:
1. High Quality – Course materials go through an extensive series of quality checks.
  • All course materials are pilot-tested in a college classroom and then further refined.
  • Quality checks include peer reviews, instructional designer reviews, and expert reviews by universal design, accessibility, and global education specialists.
2. Affordable – Students pay no more than $30 for Open Course Library materials, including textbooks. Most courses use 100% free materials.
  • Students spend $1000 or more on textbooks annually, in addition to tuition.
  • Some students even attempt courses without purchasing the textbooks, which affects completion rates.
  • Using Open Course Library materials allows students to spend less per course and afford more courses per term so they can graduate faster and get better paying jobs sooner.
3. Adaptable – Faculty can modify and build on some or all of the course materials.
  • Faculty adopters can use as much of the course materials as they choose.
  • 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.

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