PSU is one of eight educational institutions nationwide that is participating in a pilot program to test the effectiveness of competency-based curriculum.
Lynette Olson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said that the university is partnering with open courseware specialists Lumen Learning to see if and how open educational resources (OER) can be effective in university and college classrooms. Open educational resources are teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a copyright license that permits anyone to freely use and repurpose them.
Using OER in the classroom can save institutions money by reducing curriculum costs and save students money by reducing textbook expenses.
“More than just saving money,” Olson said, “using OER material in place of a traditional textbook is beneficial because there is a wealth of information that can be accessed, and we can actually look at building courses around that content. It’s a free exchange of ideas and information, and it could change the way we teach at the university level.”
The pilot of the Lumen courseware program is expected to begin in the fall of 2015, said Brenda Frieden, director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Four courses within the Kelce College of Business will participate in the pilot. Those courses are Basic Marketing, Introduction to Business, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics.