Open Learning Initiatives

Program basics

  • Provide educational materials to instructors for designing or supplementing curriculum
  • Virtual platforms may include learning modules, virtual laboratories, examples and practice problems, and instructor feedback
  • Content varies from several hours of lecture to semester-long courses

Outcomes and impact

  • Inconsistent effect on academic achievement
  • May increase credit accumulation and persistence

Keys to successful implementation

  • Technology-enhanced learning resources will not be useful if students do not have internet access. Community-driven partnerships between educational institutions and internet service providers can help strengthen student access to the internet.
  • The most effective online learning experiences are developed by teams that include instructors and other experts, like designers, technologists, user experience experts, and other digital learning specialists.
  • Implementation of a strong feedback system allows students and instructors to adapt to learners' needs and challenges.
  • Implementing open learning initiatives often require increased funding for public institutions of higher learning, frequently to help strengthen technology infrastructure.
  • Professional development and support for educators to integrate learning technologies into their instructional practice is important for achieving positive outcomes.

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