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Partnership Offers Open Resource Course Frameworks

Lumen Learning and Instructure have partnered to introduce six new course frameworks based on open educational resources (OER) and available free through Instructure's Canvas platform.

Though the frameworks are available via the Canvas platform where they are housed as "master courses," the open licenses they are published under means users may choose to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials using the technology tools and systems of their choice.

"These course frameworks encapsulate what is revolutionary and great about open education," said David Wiley, co-founder of Lumen Learning, in a release. "First, they are and always will be free. Second, each framework represents a complete course that uses only open content, so every student has free access to 100 percent of the course materials on day one. Third, instructors can teach the course as is, adapt or add to the content to make it work better for their students."

The project was funded by grants from the Next Generation Learning Challenges program and the courses are the result of the collaborative effort of Lumen Learning and faculty members at nine institutions participating in the Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative.

The six course blueprints currently available are:

Five additional course frameworks will be added by July, according to the Lumen Learning Web site, including Introduction to Biology, Introduction to Business Management, Introduction to Chemistry, Introduction to Geography, and Introduction to Psychology. As Lumen Learning expands its work with institutions to develop more OER-based courses and programs, it plans to continue publishing master course frameworks, according to a company release.

"Our ultimate goal is to provide sustainable open textbook alternatives for an entire general education curriculum and even entire OER-based degree programs," said Kim Thanos , CEO and co-founder of Lumen Learning. "We are thrilled with the interest and momentum we are seeing around OER today. It is definitely a rising tide, benefitting students, instructors and institutions alike."

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at sportswryter@yahoo.com.

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