With the online education movement gaining popularity, Open Education Resources or OER's could be the newest learning trend funded by a “2 billion dollar grant from the Obama administration.” According to the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, federal funds could be available for those developing open courses online. Essentially, these open courses would offer students access to valuable job training and career development options, and prestigious universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have also pioneered successful open course learning programs.

While details about the OER grant proposal were vague, funding could potentially go toward online education programs that emphasize personalized courses, free materials, and online support such as online tutoring and mentoring. These open online courses would emphasize job skills which would lead to higher percentage of students earning degrees, certificates, etc.

 

The key to this proposal is all materials pertaining to the online course must be placed under the “Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0.” Some critics of the proposed expansion of OER's cite that this move in online education would be detrimental to the “textbook industry;” however, those in favor see the potential for access to a wider range of educational resources that have been previously limited. OER's would encourage collaboration amongst education professionals both in the traditional classroom setting and in online courses.

 

You can read more at The Chronicle for Higher Education.