The free education project of The Saylor Foundation, from its very beginning, has been committed to open educational resources (OER). We also committed early on to an…er, ambitious…slate of courses — 241, to be exact. To get there, we had to source great content from all over, working hard to gather up open resources when possible, but also linking extensively to (high quality) rights-reserved content on the Web. In the years since we began, the OER-verse has expanded considerably, which led to a renewed commitment, on our part, to truly open content.
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology is one of the first fruits of that re-affirmation. We’ve had this course waiting in the wings for quite a long time, anticipating its cue. The right moment arrived when OpenStax College release one of their first textbooks, the aptly-named Introduction to Sociology.
That open textbook is the backbone of our course. Our reading draw from its chapters, our assessments draw from its great online quizzes. To all of these, we added brief lectures shared under open licenses on the terrific Sophia platform, as well as activities and a final exam (forthcoming) built by us.
SOC101 is the very first course to emerge entirely from our revamped development model. It is pure OER, made to be shared and re-mixed.
Cosmologically speaking (and yes, we do have Astronomy 101 on offer), we hold to an expansionist model of the OER-verse, and we believe time will bear out the truth of that understanding. SOC101 may be (if we may harass a cherished phrase) just one small step rather than a giant leap, but there’ll be plenty more where that came from!