Saylor.org

I know Saylor.org has been mentioned in OER guides, as well as Alan and I’s T4LT episode on OERs (part 3) amongst a Rice Krispie bar, but I think it’s worth it’s own blog post.  Saylor.org is actually a site that contains several courses, across all subjects, developed by content experts and peer reviewed.  All of the course materials are OERs.  You can probably see the benefits here.  For one, you could find a course and have a nice repository of tons of resources that have been reviewed to meet the outcomes of the course.  So, a lot of the work is already done for you!

Saylor also provides a variety of open resources for each class.  You may find open texts, articles, YouTube videos, and/or interactive flash-based activities/games.  One tendency I’ve seen from instructors is to focus heavily on the textbook – whether open or not.  Thinking outside the box (or the book, in this case), gives you the option to mix and match resources to meet your course outcomes, and overall, I think Saylor does a nice job of demonstrating this.

I haven’t checked out every course for every subject, but I’ve jumped into a few courses.  I was especially interested in the introductory communication course, and while the resources were sound and did align with the course outcomes, the YouTube video lectures were recorded in the early 2000s.  I hesitate to say they were out of date because the content was still relevant, but the video quality and even the early 2000s hairstyles and fashion were enough to take me back to my high school days and I lost interest quickly.  Bottom line, not all of the resources are perfect by any means, but they are free and open, so it’s definitely worth checking out.  If you really get into a course, you can take the final exam at the end (for free) and if you earn 70% or higher you can earn a certificate to decorate the walls of your office!

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