HBCU Affordable Learning Solutions Community Portal

About Us:

 

MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching www.merlot.org) and SkillsCommons (www.skillscommons.org)  has partnered with the leadership at Southern University (Moustapha Diack) and Tennessee State University (Robbie Melton) to support an expanding community of HBCUs developing and implementing their campus-centric Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiatives. With funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we are strengthening the organizational infrastructure of the HBCU community to grow the successful adoption of AL$ to all the HBCUs who wish to participate.

The HBCU AL$ community will be sharing our resources and exemplary practices as well as conducting research on how best to serve the needs of the HBCUs in making higher education more affordable by reducing the cost of course materials.  The HBCU Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) Community is planning and conducting a number of activities to:

  • Strengthen the collaborative relationships between HBCUs
  • Share exemplary practices for reducing the costs of course content for students
  • Support leadership of HBCUs in the management and shared governance of the AL$ program

A critical goal of this project is to also facilitate the sharing of Open Educational Resources (OER) developed by HBCUs for their own academic programs. Building a collection of culturally inclusive curriculum that is free and open for teaching and learning will benefit our diverse students.

  • Explore the SHARE tab to learn about the different ways you can contribute to the MERLOT collection with HBCU resources.

RECOGNITION OF EXEMPLARY PRACTICES:

The HBCU AL$ Steering Committee recognizes innovation and excellence in local AL$ programs on HBCU campuses with annual awards presented at the HBCU AL$ summit conducted at the 2019 MERLOT-Online Learning Consortium annual conference (April 2019)

Photo of Ray Belton accepting award.

Ray Belton was celebrated for his leadership role in launching the AL$ Network in New Orleans and for his pioneering role enabling the deployment of an AL$ portal for the Southern System.  Accepting the award for Dr. Belton was Sharron Herron-Williams, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Southern University-Shreveport.

 

Photo of Moustapha Diack and Robbie Melton accepting award for Mary Teuw Niane.

Mary Teuw Niane was recognized for his leadership as National Minister for Higher Education and Research, in launching the Virtual University of Senegal in 2013, a model of virtual university for West Africa and the whole continent.   Dr. Niane was unable to attend but Moustapha Diack and Robbie Melton accepted the award on his behalf.

 

Photo of A delegation from Tennessee accepting an award from Gerry Hanley and Moustapha Diack:  Tokesha Warner (Tennessee State), Audie Black (Tennessee State), Robbie Melton, Denise Malloy (Southwest Tennessee).

Glenda Baskin Glover was honored by the HBCU Affordable Learning Solutions Leadership Committee as a supporter of that initiative.  Tennessee State has hosted numerous OER faculty workshops, piloted OER courses, and served as one of the leading agencies for coordinating OER with other HBCUs.  A delegation from Tennessee accepted the award from Gerry Hanley and Moustapha Diack:  Tokesha Warner (Tennessee State), Audie Black (Tennessee State), Robbie Melton, Denise Malloy (Southwest Tennessee).

 

Photo of Mike Abbiatti accepting award.

Mike Abbiatti was recognized for his leadership role as an HBCU-AL$ Summit Ambassador and his contribution in building the AL$ Network since its inception in New Orleans in 2017.


The HBCU AL$ Leadership Team:

Members of the HBCUs that have launched their own AL$ portals have volunteered as members of the HBCU AL$ Leadership Team.   The Leadership team have worked together to draft the foundation for a strategic plan for our strong and growing community!

OUR VISION: For all HBCUs to implement a campus centric affordable learning solutions (AL$) using open education resources (OER) as well as free and low-cost eTextbooks and teaching and learning resources while actively participating and benefiting from the HBCU AL$ community..

OUR MISSION: To assist and empower HBCUs in AL$-OER strategic planning, curriculum and course redesigns, research and curation of OER content, discipline communities, faculty development and training, and assessment and evaluations.

OUR GOALS:  With the initial leadership at Southern University and Tennessee State University and with the partnership of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching www.merlot.org) and SkillsCommons (www.skillscommons.org), the HBCU Leadership team has defined the following goals for the  HBCU AL$ program.

HBCUs will:

  • create a strategic campus and departmental plans to reduce - eliminating the cost of textbooks and learning resources through a campus-centric Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiatives. 
  • incorporate quality free and low-cost teaching and learning digital resources and eTextbooks across disciplines
  • curate OER discipline-specific and culturally relevant collections, and coordinate peer OER discipline communities
  • identify models and best practices and strategies for teaching and learning using OER
  • support student academic success with OER
  • provide faculty development and training for course redesign and curriculum implementation using OER
  • enable faculty to create and customize teaching materials and eTextbooks 

OUR STRATEGIES:  With funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we are

  • Strengthening the organizational infrastructure of the HBCU community to grow their customized campus successful adoption of AL$.
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationships between HBCUs
  • Sharing exemplary practices for reducing the costs of course content for students
  • Supporting the leadership of HBCUs in the management and shared governance of the AL$ program

OUR PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING:

  • "Give a Gift and Not a Burden"
  • All resources produced by the HBCU Community will be openly licensed so everyone has free access to reuse, retain, remix, revise, and redistribute.
  • Make visible the values that motivate us
  • Respect and celebrate our efforts
  • Inclusiveness is a process of welcoming diversity and achieving equity

Current Membership of the HBCU AL$ Leadership Committee:

NAME TITLE INSTITUTION EMAIL

Moustapha Diack- Co-Chair, HBCU AL$ Leadership Committee

Associate VP for Online Learning Services

Southern University System

moustapha_diack@subr.edu

Robbie Melton- Co-Chair, HBCU AL$ Leadership Committee

Graduate Dean

Tennessee State University

rmelton@tnstate.edu

Gerry Hanley

Executive Director, MERLOT

California State University, Long Beach

Gerry.hanley@csulb.edu

Arletha McSwain

Executive Director

Bethune Cookman University

mcswaina@cookman.edu

Denise Malloy

Executive Director, HBCU C2

Tennessee State University

dmalloy@tnstate.edu

Karen Nichols

Distance Education Coordinator
Center for Continuing Studies & Distance Education

Xavier University of Louisiana

knichola@xula.edu

Monique Earl-Lewis

Associate Professor, African American Studies Program & Director of Faculty Development, Teaching and Advising Center

Morehouse College

Monique.Earl-Lewis@morehouse.edu

Tokesha Warner

Graduate Research Assistant

Tennessee State University

twarner3@tnstate.edu

                                      

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