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BPCC’s Open Campus spreads to reach worldwide audiences


Bossier Parish Community College’s Open Campus™ initiative is seeing remarkable growth – and reaching worldwide audiences.

Users are accessing BPCC’s Open Campus™ videos in all 50 states and DC as well as in 74 countries on 6 continents around the world. Statistically, someone from somewhere in the world is accessing an Open Campus™ video every minute of every day.  Within the last 30 days, users spent 51,098 minutes (which translates to 71 minutes per hour/per day) viewing Open Campus™ lectures. Within a span of 18 months, the length of the initiative, viewers have spent 389,000 minutes viewing BPCC’s math, English, reading, science, and college success lecture videos.

“We’re seeing success at levels we never anticipated,” says Allison Martin, BPCC’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness Initiatives. “When we created the courses, we were confident that our students and potential students would benefit. What we had not considered is how hungry the world is for access to learning and education.”

The top 10 countries for number of Open Campus™ views:

  1. USA
  2. Philippines
  3. Canada
  4. India
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. France
  7. Singapore
  8. UK
  9. Australia
  10. St. Vincent/Grenadines

BPCC’s Open Campus™—the College’s free, online, series of preparatory courses–offers underprepared students a user-friendly, video-lecture based pathway to success in math, English, science, college success skills, and reading comprehension. BPCC’s goal is to provide anyone, anywhere access to quality, preparatory instruction, without cost or obligation.

Open Campus™ courses are designed to prepare individuals for college-level placement testing, to enhance students’ study and practice sessions, or to help employees brush up on basic professional skills.

Course availabilities include:

  • Basic Math
  • Introductory Algebra
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • College Algebra
  • Fundamentals of Grammar
  • Fundamentals of Writing
  • Reading Comprehension
  • College Success Skills course
  • Introductory Science

Course content and progression mimic “for-credit” offerings with two exceptions:

  • no textbooks are used,
  • courses are self-contained (with no direct interaction between instructors/students.)

BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson says Open Campus™ is a winner for both the College and the community.

“To meet the needs of students and employers in the 21st Century economy, community colleges must take a leadership role in the innovative delivery of education to our consumers,” says Chancellor Henderson. “Open Campus™ is great example of how our colleges can creatively utilize technology to expand access and improve college readiness.”

Martin says Open Campus™ is designed to reach a broad audience and provides open access to quality learning opportunities.

Open Campus™ seeks to reach prospective students preparing for placement testing, currently-enrolled students using the courses for supplemental instruction, and individuals unable to attend face-to-face–whether they are homebound, work-restricted, or deployed military members.”

Amey Sepulvado, a Northwest Louisiana Technical College-Mansfield student was able to earn LPN enrollment with the help of Open Campus™.

“My weakest subject is math so I knew I would need help. The first two times I tested on the Compass math section, I failed! The second time my score was actually lower. I knew then that the reading materials I was getting off the Internet were just not enough. I called my advisor at NWLTC-Mansfield and she mentioned BPCC’s online courses called Open Campus™, which were free to enroll. I enrolled immediately! After taking the courses, I was able to pass the math portion of the Compass Test.  My scores went up dramatically and I’m thankful for these courses.”

The Open Campus™ design is tailored for user-friendliness. Student sign-up is easy, and, once enrolled, students can log-in through popular social media sites. Each learning module contains at least one lecture video, printable handout, and multiple-choice, self-graded quiz. Students may access any lecture, handout or quiz as many times as they wish and in any order they choose.

Martin and team have been somewhat surprised with a few of the outcomes of Open Campus™.

“We knew the sites would help students prepare for placement testing, yet we had not fully considered the intangibles: confidence-building, reduction in test anxiety and a greater understanding of the impact of high-stakes testing,” says Martin. “Equally significant is the value we’re seeing when our enrolled students access the lecture-videos and practice quizzes as supplements to their face-to-face classes.”

BPCC’s Open Campus™ team has presented its concept at seven national and four international conferences and has been featured both in Inside Higher Ed and Academic Advising Today.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.