Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

The History and New Model of OER

Course Hero is a platform for students to share learning documents, notes or flashcards. With more than 6,500,000 student-uploaded documents from over 5,000 universities around the world, there are 7 Million Study Materials now from students who’ve taken the classes before.

  • You can search for materials by school, department, course or professor.
  • If you need homework help, ask a tutor online and get the answer from an expert.
  • You can join the online groups to connect with peers.
  • Other resources include textbook help, practice exam. and problems, study guides and notes, video lectures.
  • For educators, it’s an educator platform to teach audience around the world and build your reputation globally.

What’s new is that it launched 22 free online courses fall under 3 learning paths: Entrepreneurship, Business and Web Programming. From its statements:

To create these courses, we scoured the web for the best freely available educational content in all formats, whether videos, papers, articles, or webpages. We then broke the content down into digestible clips and reassembled the pieces into navigable learning paths. We layered in interactive quizzes and added badges, points and levels at different progress checkpoints.  This decentralization and gamification allowed us to create a scalable learning solution that is both high quality and engaging.

OpenCoursewares are nothing new since MIT openly provided its course resources for free more than 10 years ago. Also the internet has become a huge repository of all kinds of free learning resources. The 3 problems that Course Hero wanted to improve in the delivery of most open online learning content are:

PROBLEM #1 – Content Overload and Lack of Organization Online
PROBLEM #2 – Lack of Feedback
PROBLEM #3 – Lack of Certification

It’s great to see more efforts  to provide affordable learning opportunities for independent learners based on open educational resources(OER). The value added facilitates free quality learning organized in more effective and adaptive ways. Below is an infographic of the history review on OER evolution.

history of OER, open education resources


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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