This blog is for educators, academicians, students and those who are interasted to integrate technology in class room.

Archive for July, 2013

15+ Great Free Android Apps for Educator-August-2013

(1) LectureNotes

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LectureNotes is an Android app for note-taking by handwriting on the screen, in particular with a stylus.It is designed while having a user at university (or at school) in mind, for instance a lecturer who is using it for preparing her/his lecture or even for actual teaching (by writing on the device and projecting the screen content for the audience) or a student who is using it for taking handwritten notes during a lecture. However, it has found many users outside university, for instance businesspersons who use it for business notes and sales presentations or artists who use it to create sketches and drawings.Its major target devices are tablets with Android 3.0 or later (it is developed on a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet with an N-trig stylus, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with an S-pen, and an Asus Nexus 7, a Samsung Nexus 10, and an Amazon Kindle Fire HD with an Adonit Jot Pro and a Wacom Bamboo stylus). The basic functionality should work on all devices with Android 3.0 or later, but some which are hardware-dependent such as pressure sensitivity might not.Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.acadoid.lecturenotestrial&hl=en
(2) ezPDF Reader Free Trial
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“ezPDF Reader Free Trial” is the full trial version of ezPDF Reader, which is the best selling, best rated and most commented Multimedia PDF viewer, annotator, and form filler with calculations. (Check out for 15 days)For those countries where paid apps are not allowed,
Use China Mobile MM for China
Use Chunghwa Telecom Hami Apps for Taiwan
For others, please contact Unidocs directlyGo to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=udk.android.reader.trial&hl=en
(3) Pdf to Speech Pro(Paid)
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Make an increasing number of content sources Audible !Pdf-to-Speech Pro uses text to speech to play your text documents and booksListen to your your office documents, books, articles and research papers while you drive, run, or walk the dog. Here are some example use cases:Productivity:
Absorb more content while doing other tasks like walking, driving or basking in the sun.
Proof-read your papers.Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.practicalapps&hl=en
(4) Webster’s Dictionary+Thesaurus
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The most useful and authoritative dictionary you can own, the Webster’s New World College Dictionary is selected by Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other leading newspapers as their official dictionary of choice. Ten years of lexicographic research culminates to form the latest edition of the renowned Webster’s New World(r) College Dictionary. This fourth edition combines the most up-to-date information about our language and our world to present a completely revised, updated and expanded edition for this age of instant global communication. Unsurpassed for nearly half a century for its reliability, clarity, and precision, Webster’s New World(r) College Dictionary provides the most accurate and current information available anywhere.
(5) Note Everything
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A note (notepad) application where you can create text-, voice- and paint-notes. Your notes can be organized in folders. You can create shortcuts on home, send notes, use live folders & much more!Get the Pro-Add-On for more features!Imports your Palm / Outlook Memos!Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.softxperience.android.noteeverything&hl=en
(6) PicSay – Photo Editor
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The fun award winning photo editor. Color-correct your pictures and add word balloons, titles, graphics, and effects like distortion. All in a fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface.This is the free Lite edition, buy PicSay Pro and get a host of extra tools, special effects, styles, stickers, and much more.Go to play store; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shinycore.picsayfree&hl=en(7) QR Droid™Description

Change your smartphone into a powerful QR Code, Barcode, and Data Matrix scanning utility. Import, create, use, and share data in a matter of taps.This intuitive, full-featured and multi-language QR utility will change the way you interact with QR Codes and their smart actions and activities.Get the app PCWorld and Android Magazine awarded 5 out of 5 Stars. QR Droid allows you to digitally share just about anything. COST-FREE and AD-FREE.Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=la.droid.qr&hl=en
(8) Smart Office Lite
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View, print and share Microsoft Office documents on your phone or tablet.Smart Office Lite makes viewing Microsoft Office and other documents on the move even easier through a contextual interface. Experience the viewing, editing and printing of Smart Office 2, register for news and updates, and offers you an easy route to upgrade.PRINTING! See the market leading Smart Office 2 Print Room in action! You can print one page to thousands of wireless printers from 34 manufacturers including HP, Epson, Canon and Samsung. Smart Office 2 allows you to print an unlimited number of pages!NEW USER INTERFACE! The Smart Office Dashboard is your new hub for mobile office activity. It allows quick access to Printing, Presenting, Explorer Views and a News Feed.Go to play store; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.picsel.tgv.app.smartofficelite&hl=en
(9) SlideSpeech
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SlideSpeech (or Slide Speech) presentation player and editor for Android.Author presentation on your PC, or snap a quick 1-slide presentation on your mobile, then play it anywhere within minutes.Play slideshows with voice overs generated either by the author, or on-the-fly using text-to-speech. The latest version no longer requires you to have a text-to-speech installed on your device in ‘online mode’.Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.slidespeech.android.client&hl=en(10) TEDCover art

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TED’s official Android app presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus, and music legends. Find more than 1500 TEDTalk videos and audios (with more added each week) on the official TED app — now for tablets and smartphones. This app is made possible with the generous support of Sony.
(11) Voxdox – Text To Speech Pro
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The only Text To Speech (TTS) app that combines HQ human voices with the ability to read aloud and translate any form of text in more than 20 languages.Voxdox is a PDF reader and a PDF Translator. A smart PDF to Speech system converts your documents to quality speech. That way you can hear your PDF file instead of reading it.By using Voxdox you can convert files (pdf, docx, txt), papers, articles, contracts and even full-length books to quality speech in over 20 languages, and share them with your friends, classmates and colleagues using “Voxbox” the app’s integrated social database.Voxdox can be used as a document scanner utilizing your device`s camera. Just take a picture of any document in almost any language, translate it to a different language if you wish to do so, and convert it`s text to speech.
Voxdox gives you the choice – listen to your document or simply read it – all audio materials are also presented in text form.Go to play store; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.apache.cordova.Voxdox&hl=en(12) HowStuffWorks

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Are you one of the millions of fans of HowStuffWorks.com, our podcasts, our videos, our superstar experts? With the new HowStuffWorks Android App, you will finally have access to over 30,000 articles, podcasts, quizzes, and videos all in one place!The HowStuffWorks Android app not only gives you instant access to a massive collection of articles and podcasts right on your Android device, but also you gives you direct access to our famous podcasters and HowStuffWorks experts! Tweet with the HowStuffWorks crew while you listen! And of course, keep yourself sharp as a tack by taking one of our HowStuffWorks quizzes!Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twentythreedivide.hsw&hl=en
(13) NASA App
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Come explore with NASA and discover the latest images, videos, mission information, news, feature stories, tweets, NASA TV and featured content with the NASA App for Android.Features:
– Over 11,000 images and growing
– Latest On Demand NASA Videos from around the agency
– Current NASA Mission Information
– Launch Information & Countdown clocks
– Current Visible Passes for the International Space Station (ISS) and notifications
– ISS and Earth Orbiting Satellite Tracker
– NASA Twitter Feeds from around the agency
– Current News and Features stories
– Facebook® Connect and Integrated Twitter™ client for easy sharing
– Live Streaming of NASA TV
– NASA TV and What’s On Your TV schedules
– Map and links to all of the NASA centersGo to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nasa
(14) Discovery News
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Are you curious about the world? Do you want to be smarter?You want to be up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs and cutting-edge technologies and understand the meaning behind the headlines everyone is talking about. If you want to grasp the world, then Discovery News is the app for you.From the people who bring you the Discovery Channel, Discovery News (also available on the web at DiscoveryNews.com) is the collective effort of a team of experienced journalists dedicated to satisfying the curiosity of
our readers and to bringing them stories and perspectives they won’t find anywhere else.With the Discovery News app, you will be constantly updated with news articles, video stories, special features and more – with a primary focus on explaining the world through a lens of curiosity.Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.discovery.news(15) King of Math

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“This is one of the best educational apps out there.” – famigo.comA professional brain trainer. One that is both efficient and fun to use.Have you ever wanted to be the “king” of something? Of course you have! We want to show you that mathematics is far from boring. It’s awesome! It’s fun! It makes sense.
Don’t lollygag around on the web or with other dull “learning” apps. You just found what you were looking for. A professional brain trainer, one that is both efficient and fun to use.
Strengthen your mental abilities, improve your ability to stay concentrated over long periods of time and sharpen your perception skills.
You won’t regret it.We guarantee, if you make it through the entire plan you’ll be better than you’ve ever been. Pinky promise!Go to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.troubi.kingofmath(16) Google Translate

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Break through language barriers with Google Translate:• Translate text and speech between more than 70 languages
• Listen to your translations spoken aloud
• Input using your voice, handwriting, and camera
• Save your favorite translations and sync them across devices
• View dictionary results for single words or phrases
• Translate without a network connection with our offline language packagesGo to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&feature=search_result
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Upcoming Courses Open for Sign-Up

School of Open, Round 2: Courses open for sign-up:

The School of Open is offering its second round of facilitated courses! Starting today, you can sign up for 7 courses during a two week period; sign-up closes 4 August (Sunday) and courses start on or after 5 August (Monday). All courses are free to take and open to reuse under the CC BY-SA license.

The School of Open is a community of volunteers from around the world passionate about peer learning, openness, and the intersection of the two. These volunteers helped launch the School of Open in March. And now they invite you to join them in the following courses.

To sign up for any of these courses, simply go to the course page and click ‘Start Course’ under its left Navigation column.*

1. Copyright 4 Educators (AUS) (7 weeks) – This course is open to anyone in the world, but will focus on Australian copyright law as pertains to education. This course will equip Australian educators with the copyright knowledge to confidently use copyright material in the classroom. It will also introduce OER and teach you how to find and adapt free, useful resources for your classes. Facilitators: Delia Browne and Jessica Smith

2. Copyright 4 Educators (US) (6 weeks) – This course is open to anyone in the world, but will focus on US copyright law as pertains to education. The course is taught around practical case scenarios faced by teachers when using copyright material in their day-to-day teaching. Facilitator: Laura Quilter

3. Creative Commons for K-12 Educators (7 weeks) – This course will help K-12 educators find and adapt free, useful resources for their classes. It will also help them incorporate activities that teach their students digital world skills — such as finding, remixing, and sharing digital media and materials on the web. Facilitator: Jane Park

4. Designing Collaborative Workshops (4 weeks) – This course brings together case studies of some great collaborative workshops that have been run in the past with an open invitation for you to share your own experiences with either running or participating in a workshop that worked well (or didn’t). Facilitators: Mick Fuzz and Jane Park

5. Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond (6 weeks) – If you can read Wikipedia, you can learn to build it! In this course, you will learn about the software, the rules, and the cultural values that drive and support this ubiquitous and community-built online encyclopedia. It will focus on articles about openness in education. Facilitators: Pete Forsyth and Sara Frank Bristow *This course runs on Wikipedia; follow instructions to sign up at the course page

6. Open Science: An Introduction (4 weeks) – This course is a collaborative learning environment meant to introduce the idea of Open Science to young scientists, academics, and makers of all kinds. Facilitator: Billy Meinke

7. Why Open? (3 weeks) – This course will facilitate discussion on the different meanings of openness, how openness applies to different domains, as well as participants’ views of what it means to do things openly. Participants will engage in open activities, and examine the benefits and potential issues with openness. Facilitators:Christina HendricksSimeon OrikoJeanette LeePete Forsyth, and Jane Park

Too busy to take a course this time around? Don’t worry, we’re around for a while. Sign up to be notified when we launch our next round of facilitated courses, or take a stand-alone course at your own pace, at anytime.

Don’t see a course you want to take but are full of good ideas? Help us build the courses you want to see with others.Join the School of Open discussion list and introduce yourself and your “open” interest.

Deakin Connect:

Humanitarian Responses To 21st Century Disasters

This 12-week course introduces you to the humanitarian sector and its role in disaster and emergency response. You will learn about the history of the humanitarian field, the principles and practices that inform humanitarian responses and the diverse organisations and individuals that make up the sector. You will be encouraged to explore opportunities to become involved in this rewarding field.

Commencing 29th July 2013

DeakinConnect is Deakin University’s open learning space.
Our first open course is Humanitarian Responses to 21st Century Disasters.

What is Humanitarian Responses to 21st Century Disastersabout?

Earthquake, flood, fire, famine and conflict – we seem to be hearing more about these things everyday, and they affect many communities all around the world. Fortunately, there are many organisations made up of dedicated people who are trained and ready to assist communities affected by disasters. This course explores topics such as history and trends in humanitarian action, key issues in the humanitarian sector and the transition from disaster response to development.

What will I learn in Humanitarian Responses to 21st Century Disasters?

On completion of this course your learning exhibits can demonstrate your achievements in:

Fire fighter attending a bushfire
  • Discipline specific global learning objective icon Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities – the history of the humanitarian sector; the principles and practices that inform responses to natural and human induced disasters and emergencies; key humanitarian organisations, individuals and their roles; and the complexities and ethical challenges of disaster and emergency responses.
  • Communication skills global learning objective icon Communication skills – using oral, written and interpersonal communication to inform, motivate and effect change.
  • Critical thinking global learning objective icon Critical thinking – evaluating information using critical and analytical thinking and judgment.
  • Digital literacy global learning objective icon Digital literacy – using technologies to find, use and disseminate information.
  • Global citizenship global learning objective icon Global citizenship – engaging ethically and productively in the professional context and with diverse communities and cultures in a global context.

How will this happen in DeakinConnect?

You will be able to:

  • Learn by accessing resources such as expert commentary and interviews, and by testing response strategies in Lolesia, an imaginary country in South East Asia suffering from decades of economic stagnation and oppressive rule.
  • Engage by agreeing, challenging or questioning others’ ideas.
  • Network with humanitarians and peers from across the globe.
  • Evidence your understanding of the field and your capabilities in your online portfolio.
  • Credit – give and receive peer credit and feedback on others’ learning. In addition, up to 100 participants will be able to apply for entry and earn credit towards a Deakin University qualification in this field (fees apply).

Meet Dr Phil Connors, Course Leader

Phot of Dr Phil Connors

Dr Phil Connors has a background in community and participatory development and has taught in the Masters of International and Community Development for eight years, the last two as Course Director. Phil has over 20 years of working with communities in development and emergency response contexts. Over the last two years Phil has developed a strong partnership with Save the Children Australia and other partner organisations to develop a Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Leadership. Phil is also taking a lead role in the development of the Master of Humanitarian Assistance which is proposed to commence at Deakin in November 2013. Phil’s current research focus is on the role of community-based participatory approaches in strengthening resilience of communities to cope with disasters, and to be involved in the transition phase to rebuilding as early as possible.

eDX COURSE DETAIL:

Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation

CS-191x: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation
Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation

A simple conceptual introduction to quantum mechanics and quantum computation.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Quantum computation is a remarkable subject building on the great computational discovery that computers based on quantum mechanics are exponentially powerful. This course aims to make this cutting-edge material broadly accessible to undergraduate students, including computer science majors who do not have any prior exposure to quantum mechanics. The course starts with a simple introduction to the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics using the concepts of qubits (or quantum bits) and quantum gates. This treatment emphasizes the paradoxical nature of the subject, including entanglement, non-local correlations, the no-cloning theorem and quantum teleportation. The course covers the fundamentals of quantum algorithms, including the quantum fourier transform, period finding, Shor’s quantum algorithm for factoring integers, as well as the prospects for quantum algorithms for NP-complete problems. It also discusses the basic ideas behind the experimental realization of quantum computers, including the prospects for adiabatic quantum optimization and the D-Wave controversy.

How can you take this edX Course?

COURSE STAFF

Umesh V. Vazirani
Umesh V. Vazirani

Umesh Vazirani is the Strauch Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley, and is the director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center. Professor Vazirani has done foundational work on the computational foundations of randomness, algorithms and novel models of computation. His 1993 paper with Ethan Bernstein helped launch the field of quantum complexity theory. In 2007-08, he was appointed Keenan Visiting Professor for distinguished teaching at Princeton University. He is the author of two books An Introduction to Computational Learning Theory with Michael Kearns (MIT Press) and Algorithms with Sanjoy Dasgupta and Christos Papadimitriou (McGraw Hill).

FAQS

Do I need a textbook for this class?

No. Notes will be posted each week. If you wish to consult other references, a list of related textbooks and online resources will be provided.

What is the estimated effort for course?

About 5-12 hrs/week.

Why is the work load range so wide?

How long you spend on the course depends upon your background and on the depth to which you wish to understand the material. The topics in this course are quite open ended, and will be presented so you can understand them at a high level or can try to follow it at a sophisticated level with the help of the posted notes.

How much does it cost to take the course?

Nothing! The course is free.

Will the text of the lectures be available?

Yes. All of our lectures will have transcripts synced to the videos.

Do I need to watch the lectures live?

No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.

PREREQUISITES:

A strong background in basic linear algebra, including vectors, matrices, complex numbers, inner products, eigenvalues and eigenvectors (a simple diagnostic quiz will help you assess your background). Mathematical maturity and familiarity with ideas of computer science such as big-Oh notation, algorithms and how to bound the running time of an elementary algorithm.

Once you have registered, you can access our simple optional diagnostic quiz and based on your answers you will be pointed to online resources that you can use to brush up on your background knowledge.

Credit To Competency Based Learning

Rise of Customized Learning:

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March 5, 2013

The credit hour is still higher education’s gold standard, even after President Obama’s vague endorsement last month of competency-based education and its focus on “performance and results” rather than seat time.

It’s unclear whether Obama’s call could help open the door for competency-based approaches by spurring changes to the current system of accreditation or the rules governing federal financial aid. Even so, colleges aren’t waiting on the feds.

Several institutions have continued to expand competency-based offerings aimed at working adults. And while all but one are still grounded in the credit hour, these online degree programs are typically self-paced and emphasize the testing of competency, sometimes even of learning that occurs outside of the traditional classroom.

A notable example is the continued growth of Western Governors University, which is launching two new state-based versions of its online, low-priced model — in Missouri and Tennessee. Governors of the two states announced the new universities last month, and both said they hope to cover some of the start-up costs with money from state coffers. The two new WGUs will join similar branches in Indiana, Texas and Washington.

Other universities are getting creative as they try to work around the credit hour. One is Bellevue University, which this month introduced an online bachelor’s degree in business administration where students set their own pace. There are no predetermined dates for students to complete quizzes, papers or discussion board posts during the six-month semester, with the only firm deadline being the end of the term. (Students must hold at least 60 previously earned college credits to enroll in the program.)

An instructional team of four from Bellevue – including two faculty members, a student coach and a “reader” who monitors and grades work – will help students as they work through course material, ensuring that they’re making progress. The team will track students’ performance on a daily basis, according to officials at Bellevue, and will reach out to those who fall behind.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/05/competency-based-education-continues-spread#ixzz2XmEI2W9P
Inside Higher Ed

A Disruption Grows Up?:

October 1, 2012

Competency-based education could be a game-changer for adult students, probably more so than MOOCs. Yet despite the backing of powerful supporters, colleges have been reluctant to go all-in because they are unsure whether accreditors and the federal government will give the nod to degree programs that look nothing like the traditional college model.

The logjam may be breaking, however. Southern New Hampshire University is poised to launch a $5,000 online, competency-based associate degree that would be the first to blow up the credit hour — the connection between college credit and the time students spend learning. A regional accreditor has signed off on Southern New Hampshire’s “direct assessment” method, and the university will soon apply for federal approval.

Meanwhile, about 20 institutions have joined Western Governors University with competency-based offerings that are linked in some way to the credit hour, many of them new programs, according to the Lumina Foundation. Another dozen colleges hope to get there soon.

Adding to the momentum might be a “Dear Colleague” letter the U.S. Department of Education plans to distribute this week. Observers predict that the letter, a form of regulatory guidance, would give accreditors and colleges some clarity about the department’s stance on competency-based education, and would increase confidence that those programs can be eligible for federal aid.

The academy’s nervousness about competency is understandable. Students learn at their own pace under the model — without guidance from a traditional faculty member — and try to prove what they know through assessments. If the tests lack rigor and a link to real competencies, this approach starts looking like cash for credits.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/01/competency-based-education-may-get-boost#ixzz2XmEZRqBV
Inside Higher Ed

Credit Without Teaching:

April 22, 2013

Earlier this year Capella University and the new College for America began enrolling hundreds of students in academic programs without courses, teaching professors, grades, deadlines or credit hour requirements, but with a path to genuine college credit.

The two institutions are among a growing number that are giving competency-based education a try, including 25 or so nonprofit institutions. Notable examples include Western Governors University and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

These programs are typically online, and allow students to progress at their own pace without formal course material. They can earn credit by successfully completing assessments that prove their mastery in predetermined competencies or tasks — maybe writing in a business setting or using a spreadsheet to perform calculations.

College for America and a small pilot program at Capella go a step further than the others, however, by severing any link to the credit hour standard. This approach is called “direct assessment.” Other competency-based programs track learning back to seat time under the credit hour, which assumes one hour of instruction and three hours of coursework per week. (For more details from College for America, click here.)

As a result, direct assessment is the most extensive form of competency-based education. And it looks nothing like traditional college classes. Perhaps the method’s most revolutionary, and controversial, contribution is a changed role for faculty. Instructors don’t teach, because there are no lectures or any other guided path through course material.

Competency-based education makes many academics uncomfortable. For example, Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, worries that the rigor reflected in a competency-based credential would suffer if those competencies areviewed in isolation and not linked to a coherent curriculum.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/22/competency-based-educations-newest-form-creates-promise-and-questions#ixzz2XmEgvcAm
Inside Higher Ed

June 11 CCCOER Webinar: Competency-based Learning and Open Educational Resources

May 27, 2013

comoer

Webinar on Competency-based learning and OER.  Competency-based learning is gaining traction as institutions strive to personalize learning experiences and decrease time to graduation.   Students demonstrate mastery at their own pace through e-Portfolio assessments or on-demand tests and institutions often recommend free or open educational resources (OER) along with prior learning as a source for learning materials.

Hear from several higher education experts on how OER and open courses complement competency-based learning to improve student outcomes:

Dr. Ellen Marie Murphy, Executive Director of Curriculum and Learning Systems, Ivy Bridge College. Ivy Bridge College is a two-year online institution that streamlines the transfer process to four-year degrees through personalized learning programs.

Dr. Chari Leader-Kelley, Vice-President of Learning Counts at the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL).  Learning Counts specializes in the assessment of prior learning for college credit.  Currently working with the Saylor foundation to embed portfolio templates into open courses to allow students to demonstrate and reflect upon their learning.

Dr. David Shulman, Vice-President of the Virtual Campus and Instructional Technology at Broward College, Florida. Broward College is offering a competency-based MOOC this summer entitled “College Foundations: Reading, Writing, and Math” to provide students with skills to begin college or to prepare for college placement exams.

CCCOER Webinar Video:

CCCOER Webinar Presentation: