panOpen and O’Donnell Learn Partner to Deliver Comprehensive OER Tools and Learning Design Services to Colleges and Universities

Share Article

Partnership blends flexible and extensible tools for the customization of Open Educational Resources with industry-leading learning experience design services

“The combined efforts of panOpen and O’Donnell Learn mean that institutions can now roll out large-scale pre-packaged OER programs in which faculty maintain ownership and authority over materials while also benefiting from best practices in learning design."

panOpen, a next generation OER learning platform, and O’Donnell Learn, a market leader in learning experience design, announced a partnership today to deliver fully supported, interactive, and customizable OER courseware for higher education.

The partnership marks a significant step in the maturation of OER by combining two areas of growing institutional interest: the use of OER to lower costs and provide faculty with ownership and control over content; and, a collaborative approach to redesigning the course experience that is supported by a configurable, extensible courseware platform and best practices in learning design.

“Institutions are increasingly promoting the use of OER courseware as a way to empower their faculty and to offer affordable, customizable learning experiences that are unique to their students’ needs,” notes Dr. Brian Jacobs, founder and CEO of panOpen. “As institutions embark on initiatives to increase OER usage, they often seek third party support, not only to deliver the appropriate technology, but also to ensure that the design of every OER course leads to improved student success. We are thrilled to partner with O’Donnell Learn, an industry veteran and pioneer in the areas of open content and learning design, to address these acute needs.”

Central to the relationship is a focus on student success, as measured by institutional rates of retention and completion. Research has shown that students are much more likely to engage with course content that is customized or configured by faculty. In addition, today’s students demand an engaging and interactive content experience at a much lower cost than traditional commercial textbooks. Administrators and faculty also recognize that content is most effective when it is tailored to the specific needs of their own students--designed and delivered by their faculty. The panOpen/O’Donnell Learn partnership enables institutions to deliver an engaging and effective learning experience within a configurable turnkey courseware environment.

“After more than a decade of working with open content, we can see that the use of OER in college courses is finally moving into the mainstream. We embark on this partnership to help institutions advance and improve their OER-based learning experiences. In the coming months, we will collaborate with faculty at our partner institutions to design compelling, high impact learning experiences around OER,” comments Carrie O’Donnell, founder and CEO of O’Donnell Learn, “OER-curated courses must make use of the latest and most compelling interactive tools and strategies. Through its flexible and extensible toolset and the ability to foster cross institutional collaboration, panOpen is an ideal partner to pursue this end.”

The combined efforts of panOpen and O’Donnell Learn mean that institutions can now roll out large-scale pre-packaged OER programs in which faculty maintain ownership and authority over materials while also benefiting from best practices in learning design. Through the open licenses, moreover, whole departments and institutions can collaborate with their colleagues at other institutions, thereby fostering communities around common learning experiences and content.

The partnership, which the companies are announcing in conjunction with the Open Education conference this week in Phoenix, Arizona, helps realize three central benefits of the open model: It removes the financial barriers to educational content access for students; it transfers educational content ownership from a small group of proprietary content providers to the institutions and faculty making use of these materials; and it facilitates cross-institutional collaboration in the design of effective, pedagogically sound learning experiences. .


O’Donnell Learn is a leader in learning experience design. In its 29-plus years of designing and delivering transformative learning experiences for Higher Ed, it has refined a process for helping institutions navigate and scale major redesign initiatives and meet the accelerating demand for next-generation teaching and learning solutions. Hyper-focused on the needs of learners, in the context of how they learn, O’Donnell Learn brings a culture of innovation, unmatched industry experience and a diverse community of talent, vetted for creativity and expertise, to promote deep learning and student success.
To learn more, visit

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

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Daniel Santamaria
Email >
Visit website


panopen logo