Navigated Learning and Open Educational Resources: An Open Learning Platform for Using Open Educational Resources

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session HBCU Community College

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Brief Abstract

MERLOT, SkillsCommons, and Gooru are partnering to provide a free and open “Google Maps for Learning” platform that brings advanced technologies, big data, OER, and user-friendly designs to provide assured learning for all.  Presenters will demonstrate navigated learning and review projects that are using it to serve their educational needs.

Sponsored By


Gerard L. Hanley Ph.D. is the Executive Director of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, and SkillsCommons ( for the California State University, the Director for the Center for Usability for Design and Accessibility and Professor of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach. At MERLOT and SkillsCommons, he directs the development and sustainability of the international consortium and technology strategy to provide open educational services to improve teaching and learning and continues to development the US Department of Labor's open repository of educational resources for workforce development. Gerry's previous positions include Assistance Vice Chancellor for Academic Technology Services at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, the Director of Faculty Development and Director of Strategy Planning at CSU, Long Beach.

Extended Abstract

The equity gap in higher education must be eliminated if the promise of higher education is to be fulfilled for the diversity of learners and equal opportunities for economic well-being for all is to be achieved. Partnering with diverse higher education institutions, we will focus our programs of research on the academic bottleneck math courses and expand to other academic bottleneck courses with equity gaps.  A Center for Navigated Learning is designed to manage the research, leadership, outreach, and adoption/adaptation of evidence-based innovations for improving student success and closing the equity gaps.  Improving academic outcomes and educational progress to degrees are two categories of outcomes being assessed. A major component of the research will be on the efficacy of an innovative technology and competency-based education strategy, Navigated Learning.  Navigated Learning, developed by the non-profit technology company Gooru, is “Google Maps for Learning” where the individual’s starting location for learning is identified and the learner chooses their learning destination (often with guidance and directions).  The technology and educational organization’s jobs are to design the optimal learning path for that individual, not just based on an academic roadmap, but also based on the individual’s social, behavioral, and non-cognitive factors.   Furthermore, delivering the Navigated Learning for free, with the use of open educational resources and open source technology provides extensive access to a productive learning environment.  The family of research projects is expected to reveal the interactions between the diversity of learners, the inclusiveness of the pedagogy and technology, and the leadership of the educational organizations, with Navigated Learning providing a customizable and adaptive learning process that will close the equity gap in student academic achievements and educational progress.

The Navigated Learning platform will be leveraging the significant libraries of OER available in SkillsCommons and MERLOT to deliver the free and open content pathways to the learners’ destinations.  MERLOT and SkillsCommons have their national networks of over 500 higher education institutions and MERLOT’s 11 year partnership with the Online Learning Consortium will immediately bring a national leadership and outreach capability to the project.