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The College of Westchester is Participating in Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative

by Kelly Walsh on September 26, 2012

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The OLI aims to combine open, high-quality courses, continuous feedback, and research to improve learning and transform higher education.

Funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewitt Foundation and the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Mellon University “Open Learning Initiative” is leveraging technology in pursuit of improving the success of college students in certain “gateway courses”, identified as those that traditionally have high enrollments and are found to be the most challenging to entering students.

The OLI’s Key Goals include:

  • Support better learning and instruction with high-quality, scientifically-based, classroom-tested online courses and materials.
  • Share our courses and materials openly and freely so that anyone can learn.
  • Develop a community of use, research, and development.

Data Driven Design
As explained on the OLI web site, “The most powerful feature of web-based instruction is that it allows us to embed assessment into every instructional activity. With the students’ permission, we collect real-time data of student-use in those activities. This data makes possible the corrections, suggestions, and cues that are tailored to the individual students’ current performance and gives educators have an unprecedented opportunity to stay in tune with many aspects of their students’ learning. The data also benefits our course designers and learning science researchers, [including] the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC). Learning researchers affiliated with the PSLC can embed experimental manipulations in OLI courses to test specific learning theories.”

The College of Westchester participating in the Open Learning Initiative
The College of Westchester is delighted to announce that it has been selected to partner with Carnegie Mellon University and several other colleges across the country in this endeavor. Five College of Westchester faculty members will be engaged this fall in evaluating the benefit of using a suite of open source online materials developed by CMU in Statistics and in Anatomy & Physiology courses, and CW’s participation in the project will continue in the Spring semester. “Partnering with Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning initiative is one of the many ways that The College of Westchester demonstrates its commitment to fostering student success”, according the Dr. Joann Mulqueen, CW’s Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.

The OLI initiative combines elements of online delivery, learning analytics, personalized learning and various other emerging instructional technologies in an effort to better understand how these and related concepts and techniques can improve the educational process and learning outcomes. I look forward to learning and sharing more about this effort as it moves forward, and wish to share my gratitude and that of my colleagues in the CW community for the opportunity to participate in this exciting, innovative undertaking!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
4 New Technology Tools for Measuring Learning Outcomes
How Are Learning Analytics Being Used in Education?

Education Technology Success Story – Carpe Diem Collegiate High School

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer and a faculty member at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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