The Office of Open learning supports instructors interested in developing high-quality online, blended, flipped, and technology-enhanced courses. Founded in 2013, the Office can also help you evaluate or develop technological and open learning resources to enhance the teaching and learning experience of your on-campus or online courses.
The Office of Open Learning is a friendly, flexible, and creative problem-solving team. No pedagogical challenge is too large or too small to address. Open Learning’s online learning specialists are experienced online instructors who still teach and conduct research on a wide range of issues in online learning and teaching. They can also help you design, implement, and interpret research and evaluation strategies for your teaching innovations.
Open Learning regularly helps instructors implement new ideas in their courses. It can help with a wide range of course development needs, including creating and integrating engaging video content; developing custom learning resources; planning, customizing, and developing Blackboard sites; building online communities; and carrying out communication and assessment strategies.
With rare exceptions for externally funded projects, Office of Open Learning services and supports are free to University instructors and departments.
I’m not quite ready to develop a fully online course. Can I still work with Open Learning?
Absolutely. Open Learning supports a wide variety of software and hardware tools for instructors looking to provide more flexibility or enhance their learning outcomes with technology. Open Learning provides support for tools such as Blackboard Collaborate (a virtual classroom), WordPress electronic portfolios or ePortfolios, and the Echo360 lecture capturing, personal video capture, and student engagement platform. Open Learning also supports live online exam proctoring through BVirtual. If you’re unsure where to start, an Open Learning online learning specialist can help you determine the best options for you and your students.
Is there funding available for developing online courses and programs?
Yes. Both internal and external funding are available for developing online courses, programs, and open educational resources. Open Learning has been very successful in helping instructors secure external grants for online course development, and it also offers internal Open and Online Learning Strategic Development Grants.
Does Open Learning offer training or workshops?
It does. You can register for any of Open Learning’s free workshops on the Open Learning Workshop registration page. You’re encouraged to bring a friend or colleague from your department or elsewhere on campus.
Open Learning also offers customized workshops for departments on an as-needed basis, plus intensive online course design institutes, and one-on-one consultations with faculty. Soon, Open Learning will be launching a flexible Certificate in Online and Open Learning for faculty and graduate students interested in learning more about the unique possibilities that teaching an online course offers.
I want to use open access learning materials in my course. Where and how can I identify high-quality resources?
Finding appropriate open access course material can be a challenge, but it’s one that Open Learning can help with. Whether you’re looking for an open text book, open access journal articles, or even open source images, video, and sound to use on your Blackboard course site, we can provide helpful guidance and tips on accessing and using the millions of high-quality open access resources available to you.
There are so many new technologies. How do I know what will work for my courses?
Open Learning is constantly testing and evaluating emerging technologies that have potential to enhance learning. If you would like Open Learning to take a look at a specific technology, the Office encourages you to get in touch.
Open Learning invites faculty and staff to visit its office to try out the latest technologies, including useful software tools, 3D and virtual reality applications, drones, microphones and other recording equipment, and Lightboard. Open Learning will also help you work through any questions, ideas, or challenges to find a pedagogically sound solution.
The Office of Open Learning is located on the first floor of Erie Hall in Rooms 1110, 1111, and 1112. Open Learning has an open-door policy and encourages faculty and staff to visit with questions, ideas, and challenges.