Monday, August 17, 2009

Help Coming for Your OpenWeb Initiative


MIT, Yale and others have been lauded for their Open Web initiatives - making their courses available online for free. Now Carnegie Mellon is going to help community college get on the open web bandwagon.

New Carnegie Mellon U. Project Will Build Online Community-College Courses
Carnegie Mellon University is expanding its open online-learning efforts with a new project focused on community colleges.

The Community College Open Learning Initiative is the second wave of an educational experiment that gained attention recently from the Obama administration. Carnegie Mellon's work has given about 300 classrooms around the world access to software-enhanced, college-level online-course material in subjects like biology and statistics. These digital environments track students’ progress, give them feedback, and tip off professors about where students are struggling so the instructors can make better use of class time.

Now Carnegie Mellon plans to work with a consortium of community colleges to set up four 'high gatekeeper' courses, defined as classes that have poor success rates but are important to getting degrees. The goal is to raise completion rates by 25 percent in those courses. The courses will be team-designed by community-college faculty experts, scientists who study how people learn, human-computer-interaction specialists, and software engineers.

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