PW: Open source learning at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania’s place in the open-source learning movement of higher education is the focus of my story in yesterday’s Philadelphia Weekly.

I can’t find it online (seriously), but it sure did run. So go pick it up if you’re in Philly. If not, well, check below for what didn’t make it in!

You can also see how I covered Penn’s relationship with Academic Earth for Technically Philly.

Comment there, and then see what didn’t make it in.

Jennifer Maden a Penn program implementation manager

  • “We have synchronous lecture delivery,” said Jennifer Maden a Penn program implementation manager. “We have a live lecture session and associated online activity. We can provide cross-disciplinary learning.”
  • “Part of the conversation was how can we capitalize on the intellectual community and bring it to our students” said Jennifer Maden a Penn program implementation manager.

Lisa Minetti, a curriculum design and assessment specialist at Penn

  • “Events that could be accessed by the general public for free that aren’t normally recorded now will be,” says Lisa Minetti, a curriculum design and assessment specialist at Penn. “This gives greater access to the person who doesn’t have the time or doesn’t know where these events are.”
  • “This engagement piece is important and differentiating,” Minetti says. “We are building opportunities to improve education through interaction on a variety of levels: for our students and alumni but also others who are interested for free, through social networking and sharing.”
  • “The student experience is unique. allowing everyone to interact. We want that engagement, our online classes to be in a fully authenticated environment,” Minetti says. “Some will be behind a wall, but a lot of our content is open to everyone, and those online classes are comparable to what is offered on our traditional campus, but with an online level of interaction.”
  • “We weren’t behind [other universities] necessarily because we wanted to bring that high quality Penn context,” Minetti says. “That student to student and student to faculty interaction that isn’t just about going at your own pace like a continuing education program might be.”

Richard Ludlow, CEO and founder of Academic Earth

  • “I think Penn is actually the first mover in terms of going for a really rich integration of interaction. Other universities have built very nice Web sites and nice resources and talk about comunity interaction,”Ludlow said. “But Penn is doing it.”
  • “We are using the power of social networking to create an interactive online learning platform that offers courses to audiences around the world. “Our movement is more sustainabile than what many universities can offer.”
  • “We are very careful to respect licenses,” Ludlow says.
  • “If a university has special requests, we are happy to do that. We have a lot of noncommercial content and we won’t generate revenue on that noncommercial content. Our business model is about supplementing that content with think tanks and conferences, advertising, partnering with providers, tutorings and affiliate programs,” he said.
  • “We’re going to offer universities the chance to opt in to revenue sharing. If they want, we can advertise on their content and share that money.”
  • “Grant money is going down, as are endowments. We can build a platform for these universities. It’s a classy model.”
  • “Our goal is to add value, to add to the open courseware movement and other educational media,” Ludlow says.
  • If we are aggregating the content from all these universities, it makes it much more searchable for users, so they are not moving from site to site. It’s all on one – ours,” he says.
  • “We want to have integration between these schools,” Ludlow says. “That’s our sole focus, a core competency, and developing technology around educational elements online, instead of each university investing their limited resources into developing the technology.”
  • Ludlow says, “We’re working really hard with all the universities to provide more diverse content.”
  • “When universities have been creating these sites, their goal is to get people to see it, to have people interact with it. If we’re doing the job right, we’re giving them the opoportunity to reach more people.”

I also covered Penn’s relationship with Academic Earth for Technically Philly.

See coverage on Penn’s open learning commons by the Daily Pennsylvanian here, by the university’s communications department here and by Penn Current here.

  • Of course, universities in the region and across the country have had online courses for years. Drexel is boasting growing enrollment in its online programs, as are Temple and Kutztown has more than doubled. Even Penn has had online courses for MORE THAN A DECADE, but the new movement in higher ed is to incorporate more interactivity and community development, said Jennifer Maden a Penn program implementation manager.jen — no fully online degree or fully egree certificates, online courses 1998
  • questions of sustainability fiscally seeeking Hewlett fundng, build sustainability model for-fee , fund this through revenue generating courses
    it’s of interest no other school, see open as free — grant funding Now let’s get funding,  Lisa — diffferent for-credit courses  Jen -some of the frree content degree program, private aspectadditional levels very diifferent levels —  grant  Lisa – program devlopment, incubator –self-fundedusing university resources, prototype, using existing resources not productionquality Jen– production quality you will see a range we needed to fulfill creating online spaces for online inqury — lisa
  • 200,000 unique views in month of february, first full month we’ll, a chance in an ecosystem devoted to just education.
    youtube hosting video, they’ll appreciate education enviroment.”online delivery, penn like other ivies is lagging behind the for-profit “schools and schools targeted for work-place with onlineprograms,” LISA “But the conversation on interaction is happening right now. I’d say our timing is just right.

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