The website is sporting a very new, very different look — scroll down for a quick gallery of saylor.org over the years! One important note: we are not finished! There remain new features to be implemented, old features to be upgraded, and plenty of minor issues to go around; this is very much an iterative process. Please feel free — indeed, encouraged — to get in touch and let us know your thoughts.
Of course, we are eager to hear what is working better, too; here is what we are looking forward to as we continue (re)building the site:
Courses built around what you want to do with them. Without a doubt, the arrangement of our courses into majors has been popular; that said, over the past four years, we have found that the primary way students interact with our courses is to take those most useful to them at any given time. They have been used for fun, for professional development, for jobs programs, for resume-building, and for advancing within traditional degree programs. Of course, if what you want to do with the courses is to create and follow a traditional-style college major, go right ahead!
Focus on the courses that are most immediately useful. Building more than 300 full-length courses was, if we do say so ourselves, quite a feat; we are presently focusing our efforts on updating 93 of the most popular ones. In the coming months, our education and tech teams will shepherd those courses into a new-and-improved Moodle platform (Moodle is the same software that currently hosts all of our final exams and certificates) and placing a strong focus on student-centered design. Among other things, students will have the opportunity to shape the evolution of those courses through “public beta” phases.
A more unified experience. As of today, and stretching back a few years now, taking a course has meant using four rather different platforms: our ePortfolio, Moodle (for exams and quizzes), discussion forums, and our main courses site (built in WordPress, for those interested in such things). The system works (most of the time), but is not ideal. We are working hard to unify the visual experience and make transitions more seamless, while putting to work some of the great tools in Moodle that have lain unused or under-utilized to date.
So, bring on the comments and questions! We will share more in the next several days about our “featured tracks” and what lies down the road.
Saylor Academy through the years…