In a major move to increase access and collaboration in higher education, last week Pearson launched a free learning management system (LMS) delivered from the Cloud. Dubbed OpenClass it offers institutions and instructors the ability to engage and interact with their students using the collaborative technologies that students are embracing.
OpenClass integrates with Google Apps for Education™ and is in the Google Apps Marketplace™, Google’s online storefront for Google Apps™ products and services. With single sign-on and a unified navigation bar, instructors and students can launch OpenClass from within Google Apps or access their Google applications from OpenClass.
“Now, educators and students are able to communicate and collaborate in new ways across institutions and around the globe—providing a richer, more personal and more connected learning experience. At no cost,” said Matt Leavy, CEO of Pearson eCollege.
There are no hardware, licensing or hosting costs, thus enabling widespread adoption of new learning approaches that encourage interaction within the classroom and beyond.
“We’re excited to have OpenClass in the Google Apps Marketplace,” said Obadiah Greenberg, Google’s Business Development Manager for Education. “OpenClass is tightly integrated with Google Apps for Education, our free suite of communication and collaboration applications. Through the Google Apps Marketplace, schools will have access to OpenClass. We are happy to offer this complementary learning management system to the millions of students, faculty and staff already using Google Apps.”
Pearson, working closely with its design partners, will rapidly advance the capabilities of OpenClass to leverage the rich data and social foundations of the platform and the ability to release new functionality frequently. Design partners include Abilene Christian University, Arizona State University, Central Piedmont Community College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Monash University, Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Rice University, the University of Wisconsin Extension, and Columbia University. Many of these institutions are already teaching courses on OpenClass this fall.