Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources

By Kerrie Houchens
Department Chair of Open College, Kaplan University

Open Educational Resources (OER) defined: “OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” (“Open Educational Resources,” n.d., para.2). 

So what does that mean for Kaplan University?

Kaplan University offers Open Educational Resources in the form of free open courses through Open College. Since 2012, Open College has been teaming up with other Kaplan University schools to create open-access versions of some of Kaplan University’s most popular first-term/early term courses, like CMO 107: College Composition I, CMO 220: College Composition II, and CSO 204: Professional Presence, to name a few. 

What are the benefits of open courses?

These open courses are free, self-paced, and faculty supported, mirroring the traditional Kaplan University course. There are 18 courses currently available―some of which offer a traditional Course Assessment in the event a student is seeking to obtain college credit for the course.* (Note: as of June, 2017)

Trends in OER

There are several notable user trends illustrating how educators, students, and learners are employing OERs to accomplish a variety of scholastic goals.

  • People People who are neither teachers nor students in formal programs access OERs primarily to enhance their personal knowledge  
  • Students who access OERs do so mostly to complement a course they are taking, to enhance personal knowledge, and to plan their course of study
  • Teachers who access OERs do so mostly to plan or prepare a course, enhance their personal knowledge, or learn about topics related to their research  

What’s next for OERs at Kaplan University?

Kaplan University now offers its first-ever open degree program through Open College, utilizing many OERs―the Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies. Through Kaplan University’s Open College, students create their own pathways to reaching goals through a variety of open educational materials and courses, both from within Kaplan University and outside.

This unique program offers the following:

  •  Designed to allow creation of a program that meets professional and personal interests 
  •  Offers flexibility in choosing elective courses alongside required general education coursework 
  •  Applies to a wide variety of possible career outcomes based on student interests 
  •  Offers flexibility through an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP)―a customizable degree plan that allows maximization of transfer credit, open courses, course assessments, and other OERs  

For more information on Kaplan University’s Open College courses or open degree program, including applicable tuition rates and fees, please visit https://opencollege.kaplan.edu/.

References

Open Educational Resources. (n.d.), In the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.hewlett.org/programs/education/open-educational-resources

MIT Open Course Ware (2011). 2011 Program Evaluation Findings Summary. Retrieved from https://ocw.mit.edu/about/site-statistics/11_Eval_Summary_112311_MITOCW.pdf



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*Open College courses include an opportunity to take an assessment that can lead to academic credit toward an undergraduate degree at Kaplan University. A nonrefundable fee of $100 is payable during the assessment enrollment process.

Students enrolled in the BSPR program will pay a monthly tuition rate of $195.00. This includes an official review of your experiential learning portfolio. A fee of $100.00 is required for each Course Assessment taken. Access to learning materials, academic support, and Course Assessments is available for a monthly tuition rate of $195.00. Tuition for PR 499: Capstone and other program fees are additional. See the Tuition and Fees Supplement for complete information.