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BPCC Open Campus™ wins global award

Bossier Parish Community College's Open Campus™ initiative has been chosen as one of three educational institutions worldwide to receive Blackboard's® Catalyst Award for Innovation.
Bossier Parish Community College's Open Campus™ initiative has been chosen as one of three educational institutions worldwide to receive Blackboard's®  Catalyst Award for Innovation.

Winners will be recognized in July at BbWorld 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.

Blackboard, Inc® provides education, mobile, communication, and commerce software to clients including education providers, corporations and government organizations.  Its Catalyst Award for Innovation recognizes innovative achievements in teaching and learning practices, software development, mobile innovation, cloud innovation, and online program management.

BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson believes Open Campus™ is not only a winner for the College but also is a winner for the community.

Henderson said, "To meet the needs of students and employers in the 21st Century economy, community colleges must take a leadership role in the innovative delivery of education to our consumers," says BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson. Open Campus™ is great example of how our colleges can creatively utilize technology to expand access and improve college readiness."

BPCC's Open Campus™-the College's free, online, series of preparatory courses--offers underprepared students a user-friendly, video-lecture based pathway to success in math, English, and reading comprehension. BPCC's goal is to provide anyone, anywhere access to quality, preparatory instruction, without cost or obligation.

Open Campus™ courses are designed to prepare individuals for college-level placement testing, to enhance students' study and practice sessions, or to help employees brush up on basic professional skills.

Course availabilities include:
  •     Basic Math
  •     Introductory Algebra
  •     Intermediate Algebra
  •     College Algebra
  •     Fundamentals of Grammar
  •     Reading Comprehension
  •     College Success Skills course* (opens June 1).

Course content and progression mimic "for-credit" offerings with two exceptions:
  •     No textbooks are used,
  •     Courses are self-contained (with no direct interaction between instructors/students.)

Allison Martin, BPCC's Director of Institutional Effectiveness, says Open Campus™ is designed to reach a broad audience and provides open access to quality learning opportunities.

"Open Campus™ seeks to reach prospective students preparing for placement testing, currently-enrolled students using the courses for supplemental instruction, and individuals unable to attend face-to-face--whether they are homebound, work-restricted, or deployed military members," says Martin.

The Open Campus™ design is tailored for user-friendliness. Student sign-up is easy, and, once enrolled, students can log-in through popular social media sites. Each learning module contains at least one lecture video, printable handout, and multiple-choice, self-graded quiz. Students may access any lecture, handout or quiz as many times as they wish and in any order they choose.

Martin and team have been somewhat surprised with a few of the outcomes of Open Campus™. "We knew the sites would help students prepare for placement testing, yet we had not fully considered the intangibles: confidence-building, reduction in test anxiety and a greater understanding of the impact of high-stakes testing," says Martin. "Equally significant is the value we're seeing when our enrolled students access the lecture-videos and practice quizzes as supplements to their face-to-face classes."

BPCC's Open Campus™ team has presented its concept at seven national and four international conferences and has been featured both in Inside Higher Ed and Academic Advising Today.

Open Campus™ adds to BPCC's already innovative mix of online offerings for the community.  Last fall, BPCC launched Discover bpcc, a series of mini-lectures varying in length from 2-14 minutes on courses including English, math, art, biology, business administration, and reading. Designed to offer the community a little taste of the college classroom experience-anyone with internet access can view the mini-lectures free of charge and with no obligation.

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