Campus Compact and panOpen Announce First Contributors to the Democracy Learning Channel

October 22, 2018

Campus Compact and panOpen this week announced the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and the National Constitution Center as the first contributing organizations to the Democracy Learning Channel (DLC), a recently-announced initiative from panOpen and Campus Compact that will provide free tools and guidance for college instructors to advance student civic learning through panOpen’s Open Educational Resources platform. These organizations represent the first contributors to this project among other content partners expected to join this fall.

Materials provided through DLC will be organized into a cross-disciplinary range of curated courses focused on student civic learning. Content will be overseen by panOpen and Campus Compact and developed with the help of partner organizations and content experts representing diverse perspectives. Materials will be available under Creative Commons licenses to ensure that instructors can use and alter materials to suit the needs of their classrooms.

“We’re excited to work with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and the National Constitution Center to build the Democracy Learning Channel,” said Andrew Seligsohn, president of Campus Compact. “Their expertise in the field of civic engagement will help instructors provide creative, engaging, and experiential learning opportunities for students, helping us better meet our goal of assuring that students are prepared to engage responsibly in public life and politics.”

“What’s unique about this project is that organizations like the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and the National Constitution Center are contributing their voices to a civic learning experience that is inherently collaborative,” said Brian Jacobs, founder and CEO of panOpen. “As an open initiative, the Democracy Learning Channel invites faculty and students across the country to participate in a discourse focused on the history, purpose, and value of democracy and our democratic institutions.”

“Understanding the Constitution is essential for all Americans,” said Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. “Our free and nonpartisan Interactive Constitution has received more than 19 million hits since its online launch, and we are about to launch a Classroom Edition that will include materials for teachers and videos with Supreme Court justices. We are excited whenever groups like Campus Compact and panOpen distribute the Interactive Constitution to an even broader audience.”

“It’s never been more important for students to understand how our government works, and we look forward to collaborating with great partners like Campus Compact and panOpen to take the work we do at the Institute every day and extend it beyond our walls. The Democracy Learning Channel is an exciting vehicle to expand access to important educational materials,” said Caroline Angel Burke, vice president of education, visitor experience, and collections at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

The first courses of the Democracy Learning Channel will be released this fall and made available to pilot immediately. This work is a part of Campus Compact’s Education for Democracy, a non-partisan initiative that pledges to help heal and reinvigorate democracy by engaging students in courses, programs, and activities designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and motivations essential for responsible and effective participation in democracy.

About Campus Compact:
Campus Compact is a national coalition of 1000+ colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit http://www.compact.org.

About panOpen:
Designed by educators, panOpen is a learning platform that realizes the promise of open educational resources (OER) by providing all of the components required for their 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 will 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. For more information, visit http://www.panopen.com and follow @panopen on Twitter.

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate:
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a nonprofit organization in Boston envisioned by the late Senator Ted Kennedy; it is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in government, encouraging civic participation, and invigorating civil discourse. Through digital exhibits, interactive educational offerings, and topical programs, the Institute engages students and visitors in a conversation about the essential role each person plays in our democracy and in our society. Learn more via emkinstitute.org.

About The National Constitution Center:
Distributing digital educational content nationally and internationally, the National Constitution Center is proud to be a primary source for civic education and information about the U.S. Constitution. The core of our educational resources is the Interactive Constitution, hailed by USA Today as an “internet sensation.” Averaging about 500,000 unique page views per month, this nonpartisan online tool presents the full text of the U.S. Constitution and features essays by leading scholars that detail areas of agreement and disagreement across a range of legal and philosophical perspectives. The National Constitution Center has pledged to bring it to every student in America. The Interactive Constitution was made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and under the advisement of the American Constitution Society and The Federalist Society. For more information, visit constitutioncenter.org.

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