California State University Affordable Learning Solutions Partners with panOpen, their Newest Featured Partner, to Deliver Enhanced Open Educational Resources System-Wide

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Partnership Furthers OER Use Through Commercial Grade Digital Tools, PeerReviewed Content Curation, and Live Support for Faculty and Students

“panOpen provides an effective combination of flexibility, support, and cost, to maximize learning outcomes for students and pedagogical satisfaction for instructors,” commented Dr. Gaithri A. Fernando, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles.

California State University’s Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) and panOpen, a next-generation learning platform for Open Educational Resources (OER), announced a partnership today to expand the use of OER across the 23 California State University System campuses. AL$ is a national leader in the adoption of OER and low-cost learning materials. In academic year 2014-15, AL$ potential student savings were over $4.6m; by academic year 2018-19 potential savings grew to more than $50M, increasing 26% in the past year alone.

The introduction of the panOpen platform will support this growth in student savings and means that faculty throughout the California State University System will have greater options for robust and fully supported tools to aid in their use of OER. panOpen’s tools enable faculty to easily customize, remix, collaborate, and share content governed by Creative Commons licenses. Whether adopting existing fully developed interactive OER materials within panOpen’s libraries or using their own materials, faculty can also make use of commercial-grade assessments, analytics, deep-linking LMS integration, and communication tools.

“panOpen provides an effective combination of flexibility, support, and cost, to maximize learning outcomes for students and pedagogical satisfaction for instructors,” commented Dr. Gaithri A. Fernando, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, “Using the customized panOpen text, instructors are able to track the time students spend on reading the material; they adjusted their pedagogical techniques to increase that time, and with it, student success in the course.”

The panOpen-supported courseware is now used throughout the CSU-LA psychology department. “The redesigned course encourages engagement,” noted CSU psychology professor Dr. Hasmik G. Arakelyan, “There are assignments that make students think of psychological concepts outside of the classroom, allowing them to see how they apply to their everyday experiences, to analyze and evaluate information in greater depth, and to come up with their own examples that demonstrate understanding of the material. The redesigned course has been very effective in creating a more engaging learning experience and facilitating participation and application.”

panOpen OER libraries facilitate cross-institutional sharing such that course materials developed at CSU-LA are not only available to faculty within the CSU system and beyond, but also that faculty can easily collaborate and expand on the work of their colleagues.

“As the use of OER grows among individual faculty adopters and across whole systems,” commented panOpen Founder and CEO Dr. Brian Jacobs “the multiplier effect of this content becomes ever more apparent. Freed from the constraints of the commercial copyright, faculty can collaborate, innovate, and build on each other’s work regardless of institutional affiliation or institutionally-restricted technologies. We are thrilled to support AL$’s mission to lower cost and to improve learning outcomes through the pedagogical innovations that OER fosters.”

The partnership with CSU AL$ follows closely on the start of a partnership with Houston Community College System and the company is facilitating the sharing of OER libraries between these systems.

About California State University Affordable Learning Solutions

CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions enables faculty to choose and provide more affordable, quality educational content for their students. By reducing CSU student course material expenses, more students acquire the course materials they need to succeed and benefit from their CSU learning experience. Now CSU faculty and students have greater access to quality free and lower cost learning materials through a variety of AL$ programs and partnerships. https://csuals.org

About panOpen

Designed by educators, panOpen is a learning platform that realizes the promise of OER by providing all of the components required for its widespread use. panOpen offers complete peer-reviewed content, customization tools, assessments, analytics, LMS integration, and a means of financially sustaining campus-based OER efforts. With panOpen, faculty adopt enhanced interactive OER as they would a commercial textbook, with confidence in the quality and reliability of the content. panOpen preserves the virtues of OER—radically reducing textbook costs and freeing faculty from the constraints of commercial copyright—while delivering the quality, features, and ease-of-use faculty expect from their learning materials. The result has enormous implications for pedagogical practices, changing the relationships of instructors and students to their educational content. To learn more, visit http://www.panopen.com.

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Daniel Santamaria
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