Page 48 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
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OER for Workforce Development
SkillsCommons provides a massive but navigable repository for the workforce development pipeline — supporting programs with affordable, openly licensed training and education materials.
By Meg Lloyd
SkillsCommons is an enormous repository of free and open source workforce development training and education materials. By storing quality, vetted materials, it allows those working in workforce development programs to identify and use relevant open education resources (OER) — everything from individual assignments to entire learning programs — through open licensing agreements.
Ambitious work on the repository and its functional features started in 2013 under California State University and MERLOT, led by CSU assistant vice chancellor Gerry Hanley as SkillsCommons director. Also executive director of MERLOT for many years, Hanley brings inspiration and values from that project to the design and operation of SkillsCommons. The repository is now considered the biggest
collection of its type in the world, created with nearly $2 billion in grants from the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Community Colleges and Career Training (TAACCCT) program, an initiative out of the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education that funded 700 education
Category: Teaching and Learning Institution: California State University Project: SkillsCommons
Project lead: Gerard Hanley, assistant vice chancellor, MERLOT executive director, and SkillsCommons director
Tech lineup: Atmire, Blackboard, Microburst Learning

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