Big Changes Are Afoot!
In September of last year, we announced that a subset of our 300+ courses would receive close support and proactive maintenance, while the remainder (“legacy” courses) would rely primarily on community support. At the same time, we deprecated the organization of our courses into majors and minors.
Earlier this year, we made public a newer course platform built in Moodle, housing our actively-supported courses. We have begun to encourage students to explore and enroll in these courses.
While necessary to help us test out tools and options to improve overall delivery and student experience, these changes have helped to create a confusing situation!
To help focus on quality and clarity of our learning ecosystem, we are moving some tools out of beta, working to retire other tools, and making the current distinction between supported and legacy courses more explicit. Please read on for very important details!
What to expect
- Starting on May 13th, 2015, legacy courses will no longer be listed in the Eportfolio course catalog and you will not be able to add new legacy courses to your “in progress” tab. Any courses, whether legacy or supported, that you have already enrolled in will still remain in your “In Progress” tab; courses you have planned or enrolled in will remain in your “Areas of Study” tab. Your records and your data will remain completely intact. You will still be able to access the legacy courses in which you are enrolled via legacy.saylor.org.
- Starting on May 13th, 2015, courses will no longer be hosted at our main site, www.saylor.org. All supported courses will be served from learn.saylor.org and all legacy courses will be at legacy.saylor.org – we encourage you to switch to learn.saylor.org any time before this date
- Starting on May 13th, 2015, supported course exams with be available only at learn.saylor.org (no longer on school.saylor.org) – we encourage you to switch to learn.saylor.org any time before this date
- Starting on August 26th, 2015, the original Testing Center (school.saylor.org) will be closed. All legacy courses will no longer have exams or certificates available; new certificates will only be available for the supported courses at learn.saylor.org.
- Click on the images below for a visual guide to the changes:
What You Should Do
- Although we will take all due steps to keep your data safe, please download your existing certificates if you have not previously done so.
- If you wish to receive a certificate for a legacy course, plan to complete that course before August 26th, 2015. Again, exams and certificates for legacy courses will not be available after that date.
- In the mean time, if you wish to list any legacy course on your In Progress tab in Eportfolio, enroll in that course (or mark as “planned” in an Area of Study) prior to May 13th, 2015.
- Visit, bookmark, and become familiar with both learn.saylor.org and legacy.saylor.org, which will take over for the courses currently housed on our main site. Current course URLs will redirect to the proper place.
- Sign up for our new discussion forums at discourse.saylor.org. Please note that this is a separate account from your regular Saylor account, which allows you to use a nickname as your forums name rather than your real/full name. You are able to fill out profile information much as with your Eportfolio account and can more easily follow and message fellow students.
What The Future Holds
- We are working with our partners at Accredible to try to upgrade all existing certificates to the newer Accredible evidence-based certificates. We will keep you updated on that progress.
- We plan to recognize already-completed majors and minors, as well additional unique programs of study, through Accredible certificates — this is not absolutely certain and depends on successfully completing the step above.
- We are actively considering revising or removing our Eportfolio – our next steps here will focus on eliminating bugs and refining features (particular surrounding registration, login, and account management) or on replicating important eportfolio functions elsewhere and retiring the system.
- The main site at www.saylor.org will soon get a refresh and become much simpler — the site will focus on representing Saylor Academy to new users, visitors, our partners, and the general public, rather than serve as a learning platform.
Questions And Answers
Why are you doing this?
We are taking these steps to focus on quality and improve clarity. We absolutely need to simplify. Concentrating our resources on a smaller set of courses and a smaller number of platforms allows us to put our best foot forward and serve our whole community more effectively.
What is the difference between a Saylor-supported course and a community-supported “legacy” course?
There are about 93 Saylor-supported courses at present, which all live at learn.saylor.org. We are continuing to update and improve these courses with all the resources available to us. We have committed to long-term support for these courses.
Legacy, or community-supported, courses live at legacy.saylor.org. These may have broken links or other issues that cannot be quickly resolved; in other words, these are “use at your own risk” courses.
All of our courses are available on GitHub and we strongly encourage the community to log issues, fork the repositories, make improvements, and send pull requests — when students replace broken links and make other improvements, we can accept those changes and have them automatically appear on the legacy.saylor.org site.
What can I do to get a course on the Saylor-supported list rather than the legacy list?
Courses that are on the supported list have some or all of these qualities: predominantly openly-licensed, more innately sustainable, credit-recommended, popular, foundational, actively used by partner programs, and useful in the modern employment marketplace. That does not mean that a legacy course is not any of those things! Importantly, if a legacy course were to attract financial and expert support toward bringing it fully up-to-date and up to our standards, we would consider moving it over to the learn.saylor site. We hope that students and education providers continue to enjoy all of our courses, regardless of which group they are in.
Are these courses going to disappear? Will I have more than two weeks’ notice?
None of our courses will ever completely disappear. What will change, for the legacy courses, is that official final exams and certificates will no longer be available after August 26th, 2015.
How will I be able to complete my major?
After August 26th, 2015, you will not be able to complete a major by collecting new course completion certificates for any legacy courses. Legacy courses will remain available for study, however. If the courses comprising your major are completed before we remove exams from school.saylor.org, we hope to be able to recognize majors and minors, eventually, through the newer Accredible certificates. We do not plan to recognize majors and minors beyond that point, unfortunately.
We know that certificates – and majors – are important for many of our students. In the coming weeks and months, we will help to identify other ways to demonstrate learning. While certificates are a very convenient and common way to show what you know, they are not the only way.
I earned a certificate for a legacy course. Will Saylor still back that up?
Absolutely. We hope to upgrade older certificates to the newer Accredible certificates — although this is not firm yet — but, at the very least, we will keep data on your certificate verification codes, etc., and continue to encourage you to post them on the Web, share them with employers, list them on your resume, etc.
Why remove the legacy courses from the Eportfolio?
We did consider keeping both sets of courses on our website and in Eportfolio, but with a clearer distinction. Our staff felt that the greatest clarity would come from a more complete separation — courses mentioned or hosted on eportfolio.saylor.org, www.saylor.org, and learn.saylor.org will all be supported, updated courses. All others will be on legacy.saylor.org. In this way, there will be no mistake; the look of the two sets of courses will be fully distinct.
I have another question that is not answered here.
Leave us a comment, send us an email, mention us on social media, or find us in the forums – we are eager to hear from you.