Collaboration & Web 2.0


New Virginia Law Mandates Creation of OER Guidelines

A new Virginia law mandates creation of guidelines for open educational resources at colleges and universities. H.B. 454 requires the governing boards of public institutions to implement guidelines for the adoption and use of low-cost and no-cost O.E.R. in their courses offered at such institution. However, while the policies and procedures are required, no instructor would be forced to use O.E.R. The guidelines can also address the use of "low-cost commercially published materials."

OER Vendor Top Hat Commits to CARE; Opens Content

An open education resource vendor has committed to following the CARE Framework for the care and feeding of OER available through its site, while also announcing that 90 percent of the resources in its own OER repository will be freely available to students. Top Hat, which has a cloud-based teaching platform and other digital learning tools, announced its "open content initiative," eliminating platform or subscription fees for access to its course content Marketplace.

D2L Updates Brightspace with Professional Development Features

D2L's Brightspace learning platform now features a variety of ways to organize and manage faculty and staff professional development. Bringing these capabilities into Brightspace eliminates the need to maintain a separate learning management system for faculty development, according to the company. "Instructors and staff can use the same learning system to develop their professional skills that their learners are using — which saves organizations money, resources, budget and time,” explained John Baker, president and C.E.O. of D2L, in a statement.

Campus Labs to Acquire Chalk & Wire

Data and assessment company Campus Labs is expanding its analytics platform with the acquisition of Chalk & Wire. Chalk & Wire's learning assessment and credentialing tools will "allow Campus Labs to provide enhanced and integrated ways to assess student learning [and] unlock the power of student learning across varied, measurable learning paths," according to a news announcement.

Panopto Adds NewTek NDI Support

Panopto has added support for the NewTek NDI standard to its lecture capture system. This allows Panopto's software to be used in conjunction with NDI-enabled devices, including IP-based cameras.



Ohio Consortium Textbook Deals to Save Students Nearly $40 Million a Year

Students in the state of Ohio could potentially save $39.7 million annually on the cost of their textbooks, thanks to a new wholesale pricing deal. OhioLINK, a consortium of academic libraries across the state's colleges and universities, has secured agreements with four major textbook publishers — John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson and Macmillan Learning — to reduce the wholesale price of e-textbooks by up to 80 percent and courseware by up to 55 percent for member institutions.

Utah Education Network Working on Course Content Accessibility Across the State

In an effort to provide a more inclusive learning environment for students, the Utah Education Network has partnered with Blackboard to roll out the company's Ally product at nine universities across the state. Ally integrates with an institution's learning management system and automatically checks course materials for common accessibility issues.

Report: Adaptive Learning, Learning Analytics Are Most Wanted Tech for Online Programs

When asked what tools and technologies they would most like to adopt for their online programs, online education leaders cited adaptive learning and learning analytics as their most wanted tech, according to the latest Changing Landscape of Online Education report, a joint initiative of nonprofit Quality Matters and Eduventures Research.

Wiley Debuts Assessment-as-a-Service Tool

John Wiley and Sons has launched Wiley Assessment Service, a new tool the company describes as an "assessment-as-a-service" offering. Wiley Assessment Services allows instructors to build assignments, quizzes or tests using more than 2 million assets and more than a dozen different question types. Students can access assignments made with the tool through WileyPlus or their school's learning management system and will receive immediate feedback as they answer questions.

New Smart InkScan App Digitizes Pen-and-Paper Notes

Smart Technologies today introduced Smart InkScan, a mobile app that converts handwritten artifacts into a digital file that can be edited and shared. The app, currently available for iOS devices, allows users to take a photo of notes from any medium — paper, whiteboard, napkin, etc. — and then push the digitized content directly to a Smart Board with I.Q.

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