Hello, and happy (Gregorian) new year! It was in September that we last tossed out a students & friends newsletter, and we regret that the October, November, and December issues were all eaten by the office dog. A lovely version of January’s letter went out this morning via our mailing list, which you’re quite welcome to join. We don’t mail often, and when we do, we try to make it count. Anyhow…if you didn’t get it by email, read on below for a pretty close approximation…
- Launched the iTunesU channel, ePortfolio, and Forums;
- Dropped 83 free textbooks on the market;
- Announced credit partnerships with Excelsior College & StraighterLine, and even turned out our own credit-recommended courses with some help from the National College Credit Recommendation Service.
- Surpassed the original slate of 241 courses to 277, with more to come! Our numbers also continue to grow in areas of study, staff, and secret projects of all kinds.
- In the Spring, we will launch our K-12 program with 14 English and Math courses at the secondary level; graduate courses in Business and Information Science are soon to come.
- We’re working hard to put a course o’ the week on iTunesU (ah, mobile trends).
- Speaking of mobile…Is there an ‘app for that’? Eh, not yet (for iOS, Android) but it’s on our plate.
- What else? More credit-recommended courses, areas of study, video content, and minor changes from user input to make things more user-friendly.
“But,” you explain, “ I study for free online so I don’t have to deal with other people!” We understand; we might even empathize. But success in self-paced study requires motivation, which can be boosted by making learning a bit more social (and that can make learning a bit more fun).
The study groups are found in the ePortfolio and can be kept private/invitation-only, semi-private (moderated membership), or made open to all ePortfolio users.
If not always witty, we try our best to be informative. In the last few months, we’ve brought our blog to the front line of the saylor.org ‘verse, with a thousand views a month. And we are looking to make it more interesting, fun, relevant, etc. We invite you to read, share, and subscribe. Thoughts for improvement? Do tell.
- Courses on our site: 277
- Courses on iTunes U: 28
- Site visits (site +iTunes U) 2011: 166,000
- Site visits 2012: 3,000,000
- Forums users: 776
- Professors hanging out in forums: ~10
- ePortfolio users: 12,702
- Courses recommended for college credit: 3
Are you after fame, fortune, notoriety? Okay, maybe we can’t quite help you there. But at least you can help us get to know you. We would love to feature a little bit about our students and professors in our blogs and newsletters. You handle the photograph, we ask the questions, et voilà! By all means, check out the student and professor profiles we’ve done so far, and then catch up with us at [email protected].
Until Next Time…
We’d love to hear from you. If you like this, share it with your friends. If not, share it with us…How can this newsletter be better? How can our site and services improve? What do you need from us in 2013? We want to hear about your successes and triumphs too-however minor. Ooh…send a postcard? Our students and friends remain why we do what we do!