Open High School of Utah Curriculum Release 2.0

The Open High School of Utah has released a new batch of openly licensed curriculum on the Open High School of Utah Opencourseware site. They now offer 20 fully online courses’ worth of content, constituting a complete 9th and 10th grade curriculum. The catalog now includes:

Language Arts
English 9 (A)
English 9 (B)
English 10 (A)
English 10 (B)
English Composition

Algebra A (A)
Algebra A (B)
Algebra B (A)
Algebra B (B)
Algebra 1 (A)
Algebra 1 (B)
Geometry (A)
Geometry (B)
Algebra 2 (A)
Algebra 2 (B)

Earth Systems (A)
Earth Systems (B)
Biology (A)
Biology (B)

Social Studies
Current Issues
World Civilizations (A)
World Civilizations (B)

Digital Photography
Music Appreciation
Graphic Design
Fitness for Life
Computer Technology
Advanced Computer Technology

Some interesting notes about the OHSU collection:

  • All material created by the OHSU is licensed CC BY.
  • The OHSU takes a “reuse first, create last” approach. Consequently, their open courses are remixes of a wide range of materials made available under a range of open licenses.
  • Of all the OER or OCW programs in the world, I think OHSU “walks the walk” with regard to reusing, revising, and remixing better than anyone else. They really do reuse at scale.
  • The OHSU collection does not include any assessments.

The OHSU material, which does not have “Steven Spielberg production values,” is nonetheless very effective (though some of this is, admittedly, attributable to their awesome “strategic tutoring” teaching model). While the state of Utah makes its standardized test data available in a format designed to make comparisons extremely difficult and painful (you can only access data for one school at a time, and the data are presented as images making them impossible to scrape and process automatically), here is how OHSU stacked up in 2010-2011 against the 109 other Utah high schools the state has posted data for:

  • Percentage of students proficient in Language Arts: 0.58 standard deviations above state average
  • Percentage of students proficient in Math: 0.79 standard deviations above state average
  • Percentage of students proficient in Science: 1.10 standard deviations above state average
  • “Whole School Proficiency” metric: 0.84 standard deviations above state average

And keep in mind, that’s using a curriculum based on OER. So much for the naysayers who claim “you get what you pay for.” Just wait until continuous quality improvement effects start to kick in! They’re already ranked number 6 in the state in science after just two years in operation…

All in all, extremely exciting stuff being pulled off by DeLaina Tonks, Sarah Weston, and the rest of the incredible staff and teachers at OHSU. Congrats to everyone for all their hard work!

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