Not often that two of the educational projects I work on are celebrated in the same report. The US Chamber’s Institute for Competitive Workforce released its “College 2.0: Transforming Higher Education through Greater Innovation and Smarter Regulation” report which highlighted key policy and regulatory fixes as well as several companies and organizations of which it regards as the best innovative educational projects of today.
Among the spotlight innovations were Moodle (which I research daily and work with frequently) and StraighterLine (my dream job and full-time employer since February 2010). I have to say that when any organization honors two projects I’m working on daily it gives me great pride and confidence that my work (both professional and hobby) is worthwhile.
Of Moodle the report says,
Moodle has many of the features of the typical e-learning platform, such as electronic versions of course material, multimedia capability, support for examinations, assessments, grading, content delivery, and calendars. But unlike other learning platforms, Moodle embraces an open source philosophy and assures its users that, regardless of the ownership of the company, the software will remain free to the public for use and modification. Because it is open source, with more than a million registered users exchanging ideas and programming code, it is continuously evolving.
Moodle has features that allow it to scale to very large deployments and hundreds of thousands of students, yet it can also be used for a primary school or an education hobbyist. Many institutions use it as their platform to conduct fully online courses, while some use it simply to augment face-to-face courses. Because Moodle is free, universities can spend more on support and customization for their faculty’s needs.
About StraighterLine the report reads,
StraighterLine’s innovation is attacking the adverse cost spiral of higher education: It offers perhaps the most affordable for-credit online courses on the Internet.
My hope is to continue working on both and to embrace and exploit the opportunities where they overlap. Read the whole 28-page report, where some other great innovative companies are listed (Knewton, 2tor, WGU, Khan Academy to name a few).