Pearson announced the launch of the OpenClass Exchange, a significant expansion to its open and free learning environment, OpenClass. With a focus on Open Educational Resources (OER) and institutional content, the OpenClass Exchange allows educators to search and access born-digital course collections developed from eTextbooks, course resources, modules and other educational content such as assessments, videos and more. Additionally, OpenClass now features built-in social tools that help educators and students stay connected and improve learning experiences.
At launch, the OpenClass Exchange will include a catalogue of over 680,000 items, including videos curated from YouTube EDU, Khan Academy and TED Ed. The OpenClass Exchange will also include a collection of complete OER college courses from the Open Course Library, built by educators for educators. Additional content will be added to the OpenClass Exchange in the coming months, with updates occurring on an ongoing basis.
“The introduction of the OpenClass Exchange provides educators with the 21st century resources, assets and best practices they need to keep students engaged, coupled with the social connectivity tools students have come to expect,” said Matthew Leavy, President and CEO of Pearson eCollege and Pearson Higher Education Learning Technologies. “Considering how technologically savvy today’s students are, it’s no surprise that online learning solutions and environments are evolving at such a rapid fire pace. The introduction of OpenClass Exchange puts OpenClass at the forefront of innovation in learning environments to meet the needs of today’s students and educators."
New Social Features to Enhance 21st Century Engagement
Pearson also enhanced OpenClass with new social features to ensure users can maximize the wealth of new content available through the OpenClass Exchange. Both students and teachers can now create a network of peers using the “follow” function, similar to Twitter and Facebook’s respective “follow” or “friend” features. Within OpenClass, “following” helps educators develop relationships with teachers and administrators who may share similar interests and goals – a helpful resource when identifying best practices. Following others also helps students connect outside the confines of the online classroom and remain in touch long after a course ends.
OpenClass also offers a new notification function to help perpetuate conversations with new and established contacts. Users will automatically receive updates about OpenClass activity that may impact them. For example, users will be notified when a new response is posted to a thread, an assignment is submitted or returned, and when they gain a new follower. Further, these notifications link educators and students to the appropriate page to act on the information.
Finally, to ensure educators and students can quickly find the content that best suits their needs, Pearson has upgraded the OpenClass search feature set. Directly from the OpenClass toolbar, users can:
Browse preset searches;
Select from the featured items carousel banner or popular content;
Perform keyword searches; and
Easily refine search results, using accordion navigation.
The OpenClass Exchange is available immediately to users of OpenClass.
OpenClass is a new kind of learning environment that goes beyond the learning management system (LMS) and is currently being used by more than 6,000 institutions and non-profits. OpenClass is easy to set up and begin using immediately, and its features integrate seamlessly with Google Apps for Education. OpenClass puts the focus on learning, not on technology, to improve the experience of education. For more information about OpenClass visit http://www.openclass.com and twitter.com/joinopenclass.
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services, business information through the Financial Times Group, and consumer publishing through the Penguin brand. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.pearson.com.