By: Kendall Hunt
(Dubuque & New York): Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, a leading provider of custom educational content solutions, and panOpen, a next-generation OER-based courseware company, announced today a strategic partnership covering a range of areas of mutual support. Kendall Hunt led a $1.4M equity investment, with current panOpen shareholders also participating, to fund sales, marketing, and content initiatives. In addition, panOpen will become the preferred OER solutions provider for Kendall Hunt’s national sales team.
panOpen courseware includes interactive assessments, analytics, teaching slides, videos, flashcards, student study tools (such as highlighting, note-taking, and classroom note sharing), and deep-linking Learning Management System integration (LMS), with single sign-on and gradebook synching. Faculty adopters can also auto-generate the courseware within their LMS classroom shell, without a requirement to visit the panOpen website.
“We know that there is growing faculty interest in OER,” noted Chad M. Chandlee, Kendall Hunt’s President and COO. “Faculty, however, do not want to compromise when it comes to content quality, supporting technologies, ease of use, or live support. As panOpen is a venture that powerfully addresses all of these, we have found an ideal partner to help grow this important emerging content category.”
The new relationship will help raise awareness generally of OER options for professors and teachers, as the Kendall Hunt national sales team, which is a market leader in consultative and needs-based content services to faculty, can now offer comprehensive OER solutions in response to increasing demand.
According to a recent report, raising such awareness, and making faculty aware of institutional initiatives to promote these materials has a dramatic impact on the classroom usage of OER. Among community colleges, for example, faculty are about five times as likely to adopt OER if they are aware of institutional OER initiatives (5% vs. 26% of adopters); at state universities, that number is about three times higher than those who are unaware (4% vs. 15%).
The report, which makes use of data through academic year 2018/2019, underscores the extent to which OER continues to grow and is now a central part of classroom materials for higher education. As the report notes “The number of all faculty using OER as required materials has nearly tripled, rising from 5% in 2015-16 to 14% in 2018-19. The growth among faculty teaching introductory courses is equally impressive, growing from 8% to 26% in the same period.”
There is mounting evidence that the shift to remote teaching is accelerating the OER adoption rate, with numerous institutions seeing an increase in usage. The pandemic has hit economically disadvantaged student populations hard, particularly in the Black and Latino/a communities. panOpen’s OER-based courseware solutions are ideally suited to support these communities: they dramatically lower costs, make content digitally available on day one, offer perpetual access, and provide faculty with the ability to shape content to local contexts. The partnership between these companies will meet the moment by widely bringing this opportunity to institutions and individual faculty alike.
“Kendall Hunt has an impressive track record not only in building a successful educational publishing company but also for its entrepreneurial leadership, especially in anticipating education industry trends and helping to lead the way,” commented Dr. Brian Jacobs, panOpen’s CEO and Founder. “We believe that openly licensed educational content is a rapidly emerging global category and we are thrilled to embark on this next phase of the company with such a compelling partner.”
Designed by educators, panOpen is a courseware platform that realizes the promise of OER by providing all of the components required for its widespread use. panOpen offers complete peer-reviewed content, customization tools, assessments, analytics, LMS integration, and a means of financially sustaining campus-based OER efforts. With panOpen, faculty adopt enhanced interactive OER as they would a commercial textbook, with confidence in the quality and reliability of the content. panOpen preserves the virtues of OER—radically reducing textbook costs and freeing faculty from the constraints of commercial copyright—while delivering the quality, features, and ease-of-use faculty expect from their learning materials. The result has enormous implications for pedagogical practices, changing the relationships of instructors and students to their educational content. To learn more, visit http://www.panopen.com @panOpen
About Kendall Hunt Publishing
Kendall Hunt Publishing, headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, is a dynamic provider of quality educational products and services. Utilizing a collaborative, solutions-based approach, Kendall Hunt partners with educators to develop affordable content tailored to meet students' needs. Through a combination of superior service, innovative technology applications and an exceptional content library, Kendall Hunt delivers proven results for both educators and students. Visit us at www.kendallhunt.com to learn more.
Director of Marketing Higher Education
Kendall Hunt Publishing Company
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