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Value Proposition

SOL*R provides the following benefits to Instructors, Course Developers, Educational Technology Centres, Faculties, and Institutions

 

SOL*R Features

Benefits to
Instructors / Course Developers / Educational Technology Centres

Benefits to
Faculties and Institutions

Learning Resource Users

Learning Resource Originators

Global Sharing Using Creative Commons Licenses

The Creative Commons license allows world-wide sharing of learning resources, with the provision that any derivative works must be shared back to SOL*R and attribution must be given to the original author.

Provides access to and reuse of accredited learning resources free of charge

No need to spend time and effort clearing intellectual property rights and copyright because conditions of use are clearly established up front

Allows resources to be modified or enhanced and then shared back for the benefit of all

Avoids having to develop learning resources rom scratch allowing more time to focus on delivery and interaction with students

Provides the opportunity to earn the regard of peers by acknowledging the work of the original author, similar to the academic research/publishing process.

Maintains the original developer intellectual property rights and copyright

Provides enhanced reputation through attribution

No need to spend time and effort handling rights-clearing queries when resources are used by others

Facilitates continual improvement of the original resource by a network of professional peers

Provides a means by which developers become part of the open educational resource community (world-wide for Creative Commons, BC-wide for BC Commons)

For BC Commons licenses, allows the originator of a learning resource to retain commercialization potential outside of BC

Greater exposure for intellectual products (all over the world for Creative Commons, within BC for BC Commons)

Potential for enhanced reputation and ability to generate future revenues

Reduced cost of online learning resource development

Greater efficiency by avoiding duplication of effort

Stimulation of innovation accomplished through open publishing, sharing and reuse

Enhanced faculty and student recruitment due to greater exposure of an institution high quality educational materials

Local Sharing Using BC Commons Licenses

The BC Commons license was inspired by the Creative Commons and is unique to BCcampus. This innovative license allows sharing of learning resources among BC public post-secondary educators, while preserving the creator ability to commercialize or redistribute the resource outside of BC. As with the Creative Commons license, new and improved versions of a resource must be shared back and attribution must be given to the originator.

Emphasis on Online Learning

The SOL*R repository contains resources designed for online learning. This contrasts with other repositories (e.g., MIT OpenCourseWare initiative) which typically provide instructor course notes in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format for use in classroom teaching environments.

Provides access to resources built specifically for educators who specialize in online learning

More efficient than sifting through repositories that primarily contain materials designed for other delivery methods

Economical distribution and easy customization of resources (since all SOL*R online learning resources are digital by nature)

Accelerates adoption of digital materials in teaching

Contains BC-centered Curricul

SOL*R contains, but is not limited to, online courses that are funded by the BCcampus OPDF (Online Program Development Fund). The OPDF targets areas that are of strategic importance to British Columbia (e.g., areas of high student or labour-market demand).

Provides access to unique online learning resources that meet the local needs of BC post-secondary educators (e.g., nursing in Northern and remote environments)

Contains Resources From Multiple Institutions

Many educational material repositories only provide resources developed by a single institution. SOL*R includes learning resources from multiple post-secondary institutions throughout the entire province. In addition, SOL*R accepts resources from outside of BC (i.e., resources released under the Creative Commons license that have been shared back).

Single point of access to a wide range of learning resources from multiple post-secondary institutions

Encourages cross-institution communication and collaboration

Contains Interoperable Learning Resources

SOL*R learning resources are stored in standards-compliant formats that can be used in a variety of course management systems (including WebCT and Moodle).

Able to import and integrate learning resources into different course management systems

Greater selection of learning resources (users are not limited to resources developed for a specific online learning environment)

Flexible Packaging of Learning Resources

SOL*R does not limit contributions to complete courses. Individual learning activities, selected course modules, entire courses, full programs, and specific tools and technologies can all be contributed to SOL*R.

A broad selection of learning resources to choose from (ranging from small, granular resources to aggregated resources with an educational purpose)

High quality, individual resources can be used to enhance an existing course without extra development effort (e.g., an animation that illustrates a concept)

Learning resources can be packaged and targeted to meet the needs of other instructors and course developers

Consistent Categorization and Identification of Learning Resources

Resources stored in SOL*R are tagged using structured categories and meaningful descriptions (e.g., discipline, specific subject area, year of study, estimated time required for learner to complete, size of resource, media type, and creator/contributor name and institution).

Easy to find online learning resources that meet very specific pedagogical criteria

Learning resources can be browsed in a variety of ways

Provides greater visibility and enhanced reputation for originators of online learning resources (because the creator of a learning resource is identified)

By specifying the originating institution, SOL*R facilitates recognition and enhanced reputation at the institution level

Advanced and Automated Search Capabilities

Frequently used searches can be saved. SOL*R produces RSS feeds of saved searches which can automatically notify users of new materials relevant to their interests.

Saved searches can be run repetitively without having to re-key the search criteria

Significant reduction in time spent searching for appropriate learning resources

Minimal effort required to keep up-to-date on new SOL*R contributions that match user interests

Federated Search

SOL*R users can search national and international academic resource repositories from a single location. A single search from within SOL*R can query other repositories (e.g., Google Scholar, GEM and MERLOT).

One-stop-shoppingwhen searching for accredited learning resources

No need to have separate user accounts and passwords for multiple repositories

Course Management System (CMS) Integration

SOL*R can be integrated with an institution CMS to allow faculty members to seamlessly use SOL*R resources in their courses.

Ability to use of SOL*R resources from within a familiar environment (i.e., the institution CMS)

No need to login to SOL*R separately

Ability to provide student access to SOL*R resources without having to administer SOL*R accounts

No cost or setup effort required to provide single login access to password-protected SOL*R learning resources

Supports Inter-institutional Consortia

SOL*R has the ability to define consortia. This allows a member institution to securely share learning resources with a certain faculty or group of course developers from another member institution.

Enables sharing of learning resources at the consortia level, without additional systems administration effort and cost

Potential for cost savings when negotiating consortia purchasing or licensing of educational materials (e.g., McGraw-Hill)

Usage Tracking

SOL*R provides statistics on how many times online learning resources have been accessed and who has accessed them.

Usage statistics help identify which resources are the most popular and valued by the online learning community

Provides a means of assessing demand for a learning resource and identifying its potential value in other academic domains

Can be used to evaluate market potential if considering commercializing a resource

Provides opportunity for professional growth via review and feedback from peers

If users are identified, this information can be used to solicit additional feedback or identify partners for future collaborative projects

Potential revenues from learning resources that have demonstrated market potential (based on SOL*R reuse statistics)

Team Control of Learning Resources

The ability to make changes to a learning resource (e.g., add a new version or update a resource description) can be assigned to a team of course developers instead of an individual.

Enables collaborative contribution and maintenance of online learning resources

Version Management

SOL*R maintains previous and current versions of learning resources.

Ability to select from a comprehensive set of learning resources (i.e., users can reuse the most up-to-date or earlier versions of a resource depending on their needs)

Simplified publishing of new versions of a learning resource without overwriting previous versions

Ability to modify learning resources without disrupting those who are currently using the resource

Tasks related to managing and backing up learning resources are offloaded from the institution

Students and Tax Payers

Benefits to Students

Benefits to Tax Payers

Enables an optimized learner experience through continually improved online learning resources

Economies of scale (i.e., online learning resources are created once but are used multiple times)Decreased cost and increased efficiency of educational materials developmentTaxpayer dollars initially invested in development of online learning resources are leveraged many times over through sharing and reuse