Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some more responses for IHE

@Joshua Kim has been covering the announcement of #OpenClass and has fostered a dialog between our team and the IHE community. At Pearson, we think this kind of dialog will be critical to the evolution of OpenClass, and appreciate Josh making it easy for us to get it started.

We very much want OpenClass to prove useful to a broad swath of institutions and a dialog with the community will help us understand where we have things right and where we need to improve.
In a comment to Josh's "Pearson Should Engage", Mark Gbur raised some additional questions. We’ve answered those here:

0. I was unable to find a link to their site from Pearson, unable to find a press release, and unable to find anything explaining the Google partnership.
Answer: The OpenClass announcement is linked from the Pearson homepage(pearson.com). You can find more information at joinopenclass.com, including our press release. Googling "Pearson OpenClass" returns a lot of early OpenClass coverage. On Twitter, follow @JoinOpenClass or search for #OpenClass.

1. If an institution has no affiliation with Google Apps for Education, is there a hidden cost?
Answer: No, OpenClass will be free for all institutions. We made Pearson OpenClass available to Google Apps schools first because we felt those schools would be most receptive to a cloud-delivered LMS. As we evolve, we will be making OpenClass available to all institutions.

2. What are the requirements from Google, deploying through GoogleApps for Education? -
Answer: The only requirement is to have Google Apps deployed on campus.  From there, your Google Administrator can adopt OpenClass via the Google Apps Marketplace with no additional requirements.

a. Is Google Apps required to sign up for Open Class?
Answer: During the beta phase, OpenClass is only available to Google Apps for EDU institutions.  But early next year we will extend access to all institutions (Google Apps or not) and to adoption by individual professors.

b. Can a University authenticate through something beside Google? -
Answer: When we broaden availability, we will also extend the options for authentication, including industry standard solutions for LDAP authentication and single sign on.

c. Does that make their Google email their primary account?
Answer: I'm not sure how to answer this. Google Apps for Education provides a single sign on solution for institutions that allows faculty and students to use their institutional credentials as their "primary account". Does that answer the question?

5. What does the Assessment platform look like?
Answer: OpenClass supports a variety of assessment tools, including gradable discussions, online assignment submission and an exam tool which accepts import of QTI. Check out our demo at Educause. We will be posting videos of those online the week after.

6. What plans are there for backing up course content and archiving?
Answer: All course content is backed up and archived.

7. Is Google going to offer packages for additional support?
Answer:  Pearson will offer a number of custom commercial support options - including a 24/7 helpdesk, operational client services and strategic account management.