The Center for Excellence in Distance Learning
At Wiley College
I want to bring to your attention this weekâ€™s news about an initiative that is helping HBCUs establish effective and affordable online education programs. Officially announced on Tuesday, March 11, the Center for Excellence in Distance Learning at Wiley College offers fellow HBCUs a collaborative approach to pool investment, develop and share a growing catalog of courses and related materials.
You can read the announcement online or in the attachment. It was released jointly by the Centerâ€™s institutional partners, Wiley College, Oakwood University and Florida Memorial University, as well as support partner Lumen Learning. Already we are showing remarkable progress helping member institutions tackle the common challenges many HBCUs face around developing effective online education programs.
The Center facilitates collaboration between faculty members from participating HBCUs to develop online courses using open educational resources (OER). This approach offers several benefits:
- Zero textbook costs: All the course materials are freely available in digital form, so the courses eliminate the cost of expensive commercial textbooks.
- Alignment of priorities and outcomes: Faculty members from multiple institutions collaborate to identify priorities, design courses and curate high quality open content to align with defined learning outcomes.
- Content tailored to studentsâ€™ needs: Because course materials are open, instructors can tailor content to the needs of their students, for example adding culturally-relevant examples, materials suited to different learning styles, etc.
- Faculty professional development: Lumen Learning provides faculty training, support and professional development to help faculty members design and teach effective courses using OER and improve student success over time.
- Pooled investment to expedite progress: By collaborating on priorities and sharing work products and experiences, each institution is making much more rapid and affordable progress towards distance learning goals than they could achieve on their own.
Today the Centerâ€™s members offer 40+ distance learning courses in high-demand subjects, with 30 more under development for summer 2014 using the Centerâ€™s collaborative approach for designing OER-based courses. Partnership in the Center includes access to a growing number of courses, materials, best practices and other resources to build and strengthen online education programs. The Centerâ€™s director, Dr. Kim Long, is in discussions with other institutions interested in joining the collaboration.
To Learn More
If you would like to learn more about the Center and its approach, I invite you to do any of the following:
I thank you for your attention. Please consider forwarding this message to anyone on your staff who may find it of interest. We hope to hear from you.
Co-founder and CEO, Lumen Learning