RICHMOND, VA, August 24, 2010 – SoftChalk, LLC, an award-winning developer of content authoring software for e-Learning, and the California State University, who recently launched the Affordable Learning Solutions campaign (http://als.csuprojects.org/) and maintains the premier, higher education online learning resources network (MERLOT), today announced a strategic partnership to support the creation, discovery, distribution and sharing of open educational resources.
The partnership between the CSU and SoftChalk will focus on two primary objectives: simplifying the process of creating and sharing open educational content with media-rich lessons created using SoftChalk and lowering the total cost of educational content for students within the CSU by enabling faculty to choose and provide quality educational content that is more affordable for their students.
In an environment of limited resources, the CSU is a leader in efforts to accelerate the creation of open educational resources as an alternative for students over expensive publisher content. An examination of the number of courses being taught, the number of student enrollments, and the current cost of textbooks convinced the CSU of the potential savings even when only a fraction of faculty choose open resources over traditional textbooks.
As part of the Affordable Learning Solutions campaign, SoftChalk is implemented on four CSU campuses. SoftChalk brings a wealth of experience in system-wide faculty adoption of content creation and SoftChalk’s latest release SoftChalk 6 and SoftChalk CONNECT, SoftChalk’s online community and learning object repository, include many faculty-enabling features. This rollout follows SoftChalk’s recent integrations with MERLOT and the World Images repository at San José State and provides a measure of predictable success for the campaign.
"The alliance between the CSU and SoftChalk will result in a wonderful opportunity to increase the effectiveness of creating, discovering, sharing and utilizing rich media content. This partnership is another step towards our mission to improve teaching and learning by expanding the quantity and increasing the quality of online learning materials," said Gerry Hanley, Senior Director of Academic Technology Services for the CSU Chancellor's Office and Executive Director of MERLOT.
Susan Evans, CEO of SoftChalk, said, "The Affordable Learning Solutions Project connects SoftChalk users with a variety of open educational resources and makes SoftChalk the premiere authoring tool for reusable learning objects. We are excited to support an effort to provide quality content to higher education and support collaborative online learning."
About SoftChalk, LLC
SoftChalk, LLC is an award-winning provider of e-Learning software for worldwide education and business institutions. Specializing in the development of intuitive, easy-to-use tools, SoftChalk products allow instructors to create powerful and professional-looking content for e-Learning and smart classrooms in K-12, higher education and corporate training. For more information, visit www.softchalk.com.
About California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students year round and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. A recent economic report found that the CSU supports more than 150,000 jobs statewide, annually. The engine driving job creation is more than $17 billion in economic activity that directly results from CSU-related spending that generates $5.43 for every dollar the state invests. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about CSU at CSU Social Media.