OpenCourseWare Buzzwords

By Stacy Redd

Getting Inside OCW Vocab

Like any field of education, OCW has a lot of unique terminology. We're expanding our vocabulary by the hour here at the conference and want to share some of the key buzzwords we've learned so far:


The participants in the OCWC Conference are taking accessibility to a whole new level. In addition to making educational resources available for free online, they're adapting the materials to make sure that users of all ability levels can benefit from them and are training faculty members to teach with a global audience in mind. Stay tuned to this blog in the coming days and weeks to learn how they're doing it.


An OCW badge is like a diploma, but instead of hanging it on the wall of your bedroom, you can hang it on your Facebook wall, blog or personal website. Badges are electronic certificates of course completion and skill attainment and are perfect for online learners.

Blended learning

A major theme here at the conference is that education doesn't need to be either/or. OCW isn't designed to replace brick-and-mortar universities; it's designed to supplement them and give students more learning options. With blended learning, students can create a more individualized curriculum based on their own needs and learning styles.

online learner


A part of the Open Michigan initiative at the University of Michigan, dScribe is short for 'digital and distributed scribes' and is a collaborative project whose goal is to create openly-licensed educational content. dScribe partners University of Michigan faculty, students and community members and aims to both create and promote Open Educational Resources (OER).


An open-source content management system (CMS), Drupal is very popular with universities participating in the OCW movement because of its user-friendly interface and customizable nature.


A self-learner may be a retired person, working professional or someone without a traditional education who is seeking instruction. The OpenCourseWare Consortium offers over 15,000 courses online for free, so it's a self-learner's dream come true.

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