The number of open educational resources (OER) that educators can choose from is constantly growing. Every week, new — and free — textbooks, quizzes, videos and even full courses are appearing online.
The publishing and education giant Pearson has wrangled up nearly 700,000 of these resources into an easily searchable catalog through its OpenClass Exchange platform.
An expansion of Pearson’s online learning environment OpenClass, Exchange will allow educators to search for and access thousands of resources, including videos from TED Ed, Kahn Academy and YouTube EDU, as well as courses from the Open Course Library.
Scot Chadwick, vice president and general manager of OpenClass, said the expansion seeks to address two concerns the company has heard repeatedly from instructors.
It’s hard to locate the best open educational resources, he said, and, when they are found, the resources are not always easy to integrate into existing learning management systems.
“Educators are saying, ‘We can’t dedicate our lives to content searches,’” Chadwick said. “We wanted to address that, so we brought together as many really great learning resources as we could. A lot of them are video-based, which is intentional, but there’s also great simulations, courses and eBook content.”
See Page 2 for how OpenClass Exchange will work.
To access the material, educators type what they are looking for into a search bar. They are then given the option to preview material that matches their search terms. If they like what they see, they simply click on a button that says “add to course.”
Teachers can choose which of their courses connected to OpenClass should get access to the resource.
“It’s iTunes-easy,” Chadwick said.
The search may now be over for educators, but Chadwick and his team are just beginning. At launch, the catalog contains 680,000 resources but the selection will be constantly updated, he said, to feature the best OER that Pearson can find.
Calling it “a constant stream,” Chadwick said he is contacted by people nearly daily with ideas and suggestions for improving the catalog’s offerings. The selection may even be updated weekly.
“From here, it’s about finding even more of the best resources,” Chadwick said. “We’re continuing to partner with organizations and institutions and anybody who feels like they have the best educational content and want to make it more easily available.”