http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/all/themes/ihecustom/logo.jpgBy Paul Fain. The Saylor Foundation has nearly finished creating a full suite of free, online courses in a dozen popular undergraduate majors. And the foundation is now offering a path to college credit for its offerings by partnering with two nontraditional players in higher education – Excelsior College and StraighterLine.
The project started three years ago, when the foundation began hiring faculty members on a contract basis to build courses within their subject areas. The professors scoured the web for free Open Education Resources (OER), but also created video lectures and tests.
“I was able to develop my own material,” said Kevin Moquin, who created a business law course for Saylor. A former adjunct professor for a technical college and a for-profit institution, Moquin said the foundation gave him the “flexibility to adjust it as I needed.”
Saylor also tapped its pool of contract faculty members to conduct three-member peer reviews of each course, a process which professors described as rigorous. They checked the relevance and freshness of content, and they worked to ensure that all exams are tied to specific learning requirements, or outcomes. More...