Northern Virginia Community College Embraces Open Source
"Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI) is partnering with open courseware provider Lumen Learning to publish two entirely free degree programs. The 24 open-access courses were designed to cost students nothing and use open educational resources (OER) that everyone can access rather than relying on prohibitively expensive textbooks. Collectively, the courses are known as zELI, with the 'z' standing for zero textbook cost. ELI has offered its students certificates and degree programs with zero textbook expenses since 2013. So far, more than 10,000 students have taken these courses for a total of $1.5 million in textbook savings. The free courses fulfill the college’s requirements for a Certificate in General Studies, and associate degrees in General Studies and Social Sciences. The school chose these degrees (which are made up of core classes that many students have to take) so that the most students could benefit, according to eCampus News. According to the ELI webpage, the courses include various levels of English, College Math, Communications, Economics, History, Information Technology, Science, Humanities/Fine Arts, Physical Education, Social Sciences, and Student Development. The courses will be available on Lumen Learning’s platform, which is designed specifically for OER courses. For a fee, institutions can use its faculty training, technical support, customization resources, and ability to integrate with major learning management systems ..."