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This SIG provides a forum for administrators and professionals responsible for program evaluation and staff development to discuss issues and trends. Offers Over 6,500 Free Workforce Development Resources
Date: January 28, 2017 10:00AM Offers Over 6,500 Free Workforce Development Resources

Looking for free resources to aid in designing, managing, and expanding courses for career training? SkillsCommons is an online repository hosting thousands of free and openly-licensed course and educational program support materials being developed by nearly 700 colleges across the U.S., funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program.

More than 6,500 resources are already available for download, featuring curricula for both short and long-term courses leading to industry-certified credentials in 16 high-demand fields, such as manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and information technology. While there are multiple repositories of open educational resources (OER), SkillsCommons is the world’s largest OER project featuring job-driven workforce development materials, with more resources being added continually. All teaching, learning, and supporting materials on SkillsCommons are available under a Creative Commons license that allows others to use and adapt the materials for free, including commercial use of derivatives. To date, the site has already generated more than 150,000 downloads.

SkillsCommons has implemented seven types of “makeover strategies”” to illustrate how innovative technologies can be applied to the site’s content to create engaging, interactive educational materials tailored to the needs of students. The strategies provide “before” and “after” views of content using different designs and highlighting the advantages of the new derivative works. These strategies include support for interactive content (including games, quizzes, and mobile-friendly content), learning management systems, eBooks, and much more. is designed and managed by California State University (CSU) and its Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) program under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor. Extensive user support resources are available on the website, and the SkillsCommons CSU-MERLOT team of leaders, librarians, educators, and developers are available to assist anyone interested in using and adapting the OER on SkillsCommons.

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