October 2004, the League for Innovation in the Community College
was awarded a one-year grant from the William and Flora Hewlett
to plan a project designed to make several "high-quality" courses
available on the World Wide Web as open-content courses. The
courses include developmental reading, developmental writing,
developmental math, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL/ESL).
The open-content courses selected for the proposed project will become part
of a free, online resource for teachers and learners throughout
the world who seek instructional models or self-study options. To
learn more about the open-content movement in education and
open-content projects supported by the Hewlett Foundation, visit the foundation’s website.
The Basic Education Online Project includes a series of activities designed to identify high-quality courses that, in the proposed project, will be adapted or redesigned for use in an online, open-content setting. The activities include:
Defining “high quality” in the context of these courses and identifying criteria for determining high-quality courses in the four content areas. These efforts have been conducted through activities involving (a) an international panel of practitioners currently teaching in the various content areas; (b) an international group of experts and leaders in developmental education, ESOL/ESL,
instructional design, and educational research; and (c)
a review of research
on effective practices in developmental education and ESOL/ESL;
Soliciting reaction to the identified criteria from the field through an inventory developed using the identified criteria, and distributed to academic administrators at postsecondary institutions in Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States;
Identifying high-quality courses for
inclusion in the proposed project through a Request for
Qualifications based on the identified criteria and
distributed to postsecondary institutions around the world;
Designing a project that will adapt, redesign, or otherwise transform the identified high-quality courses for use in an online, open-content setting, and developing a proposal seeking support for such a project; and
Creating a report to the field that includes the identified criteria, review of research on effective practices,
inventory results, and other findings from the planning process.
For more information, please contact Cynthia Wilson.