Open Learning Initiatives
Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- 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.