North Carolina-based Davidson College and the College Board released last week a series of educational modules aligned with the curricula taught in three Advanced Placement classes.
Materials for those modules, which include calculus, physics, and macroeconomics, debuted Wednesday on edX, a Davidson-developed online source that provides free, higher education instructional content for interested parties, namely students and teachers.
The three new courses are self-paced and use video segments and interactive activities to develop digital skills and prepare students for their AP exams. They are part of Davidson Next, an initiative striving to offer supplemental, blended-learning opportunities for AP students, with an emphasis on children who don’t have access to AP teachers or who are traditionally underserved in college-level classes.
“This project helps to make equal educational opportunity real for all students,” said the college’s president, Carol Quillen, in a press release.
The unveiling of Davidson Next signifies another step in a larger movement from edX to make its content wider-reaching. The organization currently offers nearly 600 MOOCs—Massive Open Online Courses—which themselves are part of a wave of new-ish, and increasingly controversial, online learning tools.
Before launching the three new modules, the team behind Davidson Next tested a version of them with 26 high schools across select areas of North Carolina and South Carolina. The team then used feedback from a total of 34 AP teachers and 1,200 students to improve the course materials.
Davidson Next is now working with the Houston Independent School District and the North Carolina AP Partnership to provide students and teachers in those areas with access to the modules over the summer, according to the press release.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.