online learning misconceptions

New partnership to create low-cost, alternative pathway to college credit

Self-paced study program from Cengage Learning and Excelsior College to be delivered via Learning Objects’ Difference Engine® Platform.

Cengage Learning and Excelsior College announced a partnership to create an innovative, low-cost, alternative pathway to college credit.  The core of the collaboration will be a set of self-paced digital courses – using Cengage Learning market leading content – each with integrated diagnostic and formative assessments.  Additionally, the joint effort will include a college credit bearing summative exam, developed by Excelsior’s Center for Educational Measurement, among the most respected higher education assessment organizations.

The program, which will be delivered online via the Learning Objects Difference Engine® platform, will initially focus on two degree pathways – an associates in criminal justice, and an MBA, with plans to expand to other subjects and degrees in the near future.  Students will have access to each digital course and its college credit exam for one low price and, upon successful completion, will earn college credit from Excelsior College, for use towards a degree program at Excelsior or for transfer to any accredited institution accepting such transfer credit.  This innovative, self-paced program will be open to anyone desiring a flexible and low cost way to earn college credits to enhance their skills and career opportunities.

Learning Objects, acquired by Cengage Learning in September 2015, collaborates with higher education institutions to design and build digital learning environments.  The company brings together course and program design services, technology and content, including open educational resources (OER), to collaboratively build learning experiences for students.

“Excelsior has been providing credit-by-exam opportunities for over forty years,” said Nurit Sonnenschein, General Manager for the Center for Educational Measurement.  “With this partnership, our students maintain the flexibility and low cost of a credit-by-exam program; but the marriage of the exam with the rich digital courseware developed by Cengage provides a level of pedagogy never yet offered, and opens up the possibility of self-study to a much larger population.  And the development of this product as a complete pathway to degree, rather than as individual course/exam electives, will be an exciting opportunity for so many prospective students who seek an alternative to online courses.”

“Online learning has proven a tremendous resource for students who are unable to attend traditional campus-based programs.  This partnership with Excelsior is designed to open up access to even more working professionals who need credits or a degree for a job or workplace advancement,” said Lori Hales, SVP Institutional Sales, Cengage Learning.

The program will be available in March 2017. Costs will range from $400 to $550, depending on the subject.

Material from a press release was used in this report.