Open Educational Resources

Northern Virginia Community College Shares OER Degree Programs

Through a partnership with open courseware provider Lumen Learning, Northern Virginia Community College's (NOVA) Extended Learning Institute (ELI) is publishing 24 online college courses designed with 100 percent open educational resources. The courses, dubbed "zELI" ("z" for zero textbook costs), fulfill the requirements for NOVA's associate degrees in general studies and social sciences as well as a certificate in General Studies.

NOVA is publishing the zELI courses under Creative Commons licenses, enabling any institution to freely use, revise, remix and repurpose the materials. "Other members of the education community can map courses to their own degree requirements, adapt them to fit their own learning outcomes, and offer complete OER-based degree programs of their own," according to a press release.

"From the very beginning, NOVA's efforts with OER courses and degree programs have been about both increasing student success and creating material to be shared with more educators to impact more students," said Preston Davis, director of instructional services at the college, in a statement. "With open degree pathways, we provide a huge boost to students who can't afford textbooks, and we put them on a clearer path towards completion. We want to see the entire education community provide this tremendous benefit."

The zELI courses are available free through Lumen Learning's open courseware platform. For a fee, Lumen offers additional zELI services such as faculty training, technical support, the ability to fully customize course materials, LMS integration, impact and efficacy analysis, and OER program design support.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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