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BenchPrep Adds Access to Open Educational Resources

BenchPrep has released OpenPrep, a new tool that features access to thousands of educational videos and resources.

Among the open educational resources made available with the new OpenPrep feature are Khan Academy tutorials and YouTube videos, as well as articles from Wikipedia.

The feature works by means of an internal engine that correlates an instructional topic with available resources on that topic, from weather to earthquakes and from chemical processes to mechanical engineering. BenchPrep works with publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning to clearly identify areas where outside material may be useful, then ties media from those companies in with unit themes.

"The OpenPrep engine is fully automated and uses topic detection and ranking algorithms to analyze the contents of any course. It then builds a curated collection of online educational resources and uses award winning educational material from BenchPrep content partners as a lens to mine these resources for the most relevant content, instantly translating our courses into rich media experiences." said Jonathan Soeder, BenchPrep lead architect.

In the near future, additional resources will be made available from companies such as Wolfram Alpha, Pearson, and Associated Press, the company noted in prepared statement. To make sure material is relevant and useful, students will be able to vote on the relevance of resources available.

In addition, educators and students can also add custom material of their own to be shared with students, including videos, blogs, and articles they identify as relevant.

"YouTube and Wikipedia are knowledge warehouses, which rival the greatest libraries ever built, yet they lack the structure and curriculum required to master a subject," said Frank Pinto, creative director at BenchPrep. "Our goal is to help students tap into this open knowledge base in an intuitive, convenient, and engaging way while maintaining the academic structure of a course."

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