Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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.

Program overview

  • Combines an online learning platform and support environment with in-person classes
  • The goal is to provide comparable or better instruction while reducing costs and time spent
  • Provides full courses and learning materials to both learners and instructors at low or no cost while providing the instructor with a platform to track student achievement and progress
Target Population
Students enrolled in post-secondary education
Cost per Participant
Not available

Evidence and impacts

Strong

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse

  • Increased academic achievement
  • Increased credit accumulation and persistence

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Partnerships between educational institutions and internet service providers can ensure that greater numbers of students have internet access and are thus able to take part in open learning curricula.
  • Technological specialists can help instructors transition material to online platforms, improving the learning experience for students.
  • Creating easy-to-use feedback systems enables instructors to adapt course materials to student preferences.
  • Investments in digital infrastructure improvements are often necessary in ensuring that open learning initiatives perform adequately.