Scot Chadwick, VP & GM of OpenClass at Pearson, has graciously responded to Ontario99's comment on On ACU's Choice of OpenClass.
"I am predicting that this won't last. Pearson is not really committed to OpenClass in my opinion. From their "beta" release two years ago....wait, they are still in beta. Why would this product be in beta for two years? Because they probably have a shoestring budget. Pearson has the resources to have pushed the product along - but they haven't. As a GAFE admin I signed up for an OpenClass account almost immediately upon launch and was somewhat impressed because it was a beta. A few months ago I went back to my account and not much has changed. Can you even link from one content page to another?"
"I think Pearson started losing interest in OpenClass with the growth of LTI. OpenClass allowed them to make it easy to market (paid) content to LMS users. But with LTI they can do that easily anyways regardless of the LMS really. This is just my guess as to why OpenClass is essentailly languishing in development."
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and questions Ontario99. I’d like to take the opportunity to continue the dialog and welcome further thoughts and questions.
Your criticism on the beta tag is totally fair and we appreciate the nudge. It has been on our radar this summer though it has not been connected with a particular roadmap milestone.
It is not reflective however, of the advancement of the platform. From your note, it sounds like you may have gone back in just before our latest major release. At the end of June, we updated the OpenClass user experience extensively, further refining the UI and expanding the social capabilities (which have always been one of OpenClass’ strongest points).
As significant, we launched the OpenClass Exchange, which provides instructors with easy access to over 680,000 OER resources that can be searched and added to their OpenClass course in just a few clicks. Our goal with the OpenClass Exchange was to solve the challenges that faculty have shared with us around how to quickly find great learning resources and easily bring them into their courses.
Today, these resources range from TEDEd, Khan Academy and YouTubeEDU videos, along with eTexts, simulations and full courses from the Open Course Library. OpenClass was designed to deliver great content and we will continue to expand the resources available in the OpenClass Exchange. Also, we have been contacted by institutions and faculty that are interested in offering some amazing new courses in the OpenClass Exchange under a Creative Commons license and/or to license commercially.
Also, just two weeks ago we updated OpenClass iPad app. Mobile has always been and remains a very high priority for OpenClass and both faculty and students will see this “mobile first” mentality consistently across all platforms and devices. Similar updates on Android and iPhone will be released in the near future. In terms of LTI, we are huge fans. This has been a fantastic standard that has really moved the needle in terms of enabling 3rd party tool and app integration and is the reason why we built OpenClass as LTI compliant from day one. It allows us to easily integrate with our partners and help support their success in meeting institutional needs.
Linking to other pages within OpenClass is one of the items our list (another good nudge!). That is not to say though that in OpenClass you will find all the features you may find in other platforms. We designed OpenClass to deliver great content with an intuitive UI and a focus on enabling greater communication, collaboration and connection in the classroom. We care very much about the experience for faculty and students and are continuing to advance features that make it easier and more efficient for faculty to use and engaging for students.
However, our design partner institutions have advised us from the very beginning to not fall into the trap of recreating what already exists in the market, but instead hold on to our vision of creating a platform that could be freely adopted by anyone around the globe and enable institutions to redirect their resources from servers, storage, hardware and licensing fees to things that can make a difference in teaching and learning. As Kevin Roberts from ACU shared, this factored significantly into their committee’s decision to adopt OpenClass.
We’ve heard many other stories from institutions and school districts that either couldn’t afford a legacy LMS or like ACU, were able to instead invest those funds into faculty development and student support resources as a result of adopting OpenClass. We’re humbled by how OpenClass has been adopted in 100+ countries across higher ed, K-12, many associations and a variety of charitable organizations around the world as it reinforces that we are on the right track and making a difference. This is what drives us every day.
Thank you again for your comments and questions Ontario99. Our team would be happy to set up a walk through of the latest OpenClass features and a view into some of the things we have in the works. You can also feel free to contact me directly at scot (dot) chadwick (at) pearson.com or @scotchadwick
VP & GM, OpenClass
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