The goal of the Open Course Library (OCL) project is to create fully developed course content for 81 high enrollment courses in the Washington State Community and Technical College system, and then share those materials with an open license. Including textbooks, students will pay no more than $30 in materials costs (free is preferable). Faculty members, instructional designers, librarians and other staff members are working in teams to locate and build the content for each course. Our goal is for instructors in WA colleges and around the world to adopt high quality OCL content and teach courses using it, whether as a whole course or in bits and pieces, to enhance teaching and improve learning.
Phase I Summary
In OCL, Phase One the first 42 courses were shared using the ANGEL learning management system. Archives of those courses are also available at Connexions (http://cnx.org) and opencourselibrary.org. This strategy made it convenient for ANGEL users who want to adopt the entire course and teach in ANGEL, but the approach also had drawbacks including being difficult for people to easily find and browse individual content items. Also, subject matter experts often spent a great deal of time working with ANGEL. While non-ANGEL users can download archive files containing all the content for a given course this is not particularly useful to people who do not wish to use a learning management system.
Changes in Phase II
Based on feedback from the Phase One faculty course developers we are modifying the development strategy for Phase Two. Developers will add course content to a separate Google Docs collection that is linked to a course page at opencourselibrary.org (a Google Site). Each course page will link to all the course content and have additional course information. When the project is complete anyone will be able to visit the site and search all courses, browse course pages and the docs collection. Wherever possible, developers will upload course content to the Google docs collections. Storing course materials in collections will allow visitors to download some or all course documents in the format that works best for them (Word, PDF, etc). All project video content will be added to a common YouTube account and then linked or embedded back to the course content in the docs collection. This will make it easier to add closed captioning as well as reducing the size of course docs collection (making them easier to download), and making it easier to find and update video content as needed in the future.