New platform provides free digital learning materials

New platform provides free digital learning materials

Monday, December 21, 2020 - 4:04pm

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Community College System launched an online library of educational content Monday to provide faculty and students with free digital materials to enhance teaching and learning.

The cloud-based openNCCC is an OER platform, also known as open education resources. The initiative enables educational entities to create, share and access a library of digital materials that can be modified to adjust to student and faculty needs. The platform, which replaces the North Carolina Learning Object Repository (NCLOR), will support new approaches to teaching and provide equitable access to quality educational materials throughout the state.

The site features more than 30,000 searchable educational resources, including documents, images and videos. It will allow instructors to easily collaborate with others to create and edit materials. The openNCCC platform allows users to import their materials directly into the platform.

Anyone can access the materials, but only logged in NC Community College System educators may create accounts and post materials or participate in collaboration.

openNCCC specializes in providing openly licensed educational resources (OER), or free digital materials that are licensed under Creative Commons to be used or modified without traditional U.S. copyright restrictions. Not having to clear copyrighted digital materials for use in the classroom takes the burden off faculty and relieves the concern of potentially or unintentionally violating the law. However, the creators of the materials may choose to retain certain rights, usually the right to be recognized as the creator and the right to restrict use to non-commercial purposes.

Content and free digital textbooks hosted by openNCCC may be embedded into courses and other learning materials, keeping the cost of education more affordable for students at North Carolina's community colleges.