(Inside Higher Ed) Saylor Foundation Majoring in Free Content

The Saylor Foundation has nearly finished creating a full suite of free, online courses in a dozen popular undergraduate majors. And the foundation is now offering a path to college credit for its offerings by partnering with two nontraditional players in higher education ”“ Excelsior College and StraighterLine.

The project started three years ago, when the foundation began hiring faculty members on a contract basis to build courses within their subject areas. The professors scoured the web for free Open Education Resources (OER), but also created video lectures and tests.

“I was able to develop my own material,” said Kevin Moquin, who created a business law course for Saylor. A former adjunct professor for a technical college and a for-profit institution, Moquin said the foundation gave him the “flexibility to adjust it as I needed.”

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One comment on “(Inside Higher Ed) Saylor Foundation Majoring in Free Content

  1. Dan Ennis says:

    I work at a college and we’ve been seeing transcripts from “StraighterLine.’ Their angle is to partner with content providers (like Saylor), and then get their credits accepted by an accredited brick-and-mortar institution.

    Curious about their rigor, a colleague of mine called StraighterLine and posed as a student, saying that she needed credit for College Algebra in order to get into a degree program, but that she’d failed the course already at her university. StaighterLine was happy to provide her with an online course. Asked how long the course would run, the StraigherLine rep replied that the material was all self-directed, and that it could be completed in a weekend.

    Maybe representative, maybe not, but caveat emptor.