A centre of research and practice to develop and promote open educational resources

Overview of the Free Curricula Centre

The Free Curricula Centre (FCC) helps students worldwide reach their educational potential by developing and promoting open educational resources: university-level curricula that can be copied freely and modified cooperatively.

Specifically, FCC serves as a focal point for the development and sharing of textbooks, instructor guides, and other educational materials. These materials are released at no cost into the public domain or under a permissive license, allowing anyone to make and distribute copies, adapt the material, or otherwise maximise its potential without having to pay. In some cases adapted material must be released under the same terms, and in other cases it need not be.

The Centre helps its participants work together to create textbooks, instructor guides, and other materials for the subjects in which they have expertise. We do this by providing online tools to help educators collaborate successfully and by proving a space on the Internet where students can have free, easy access to their finished products. We also serve as a link to the resources of others, and mirror their material when permitted.

FCC's principal objective is to reduce to zero the cost of educational materials for students and learning institutions, especially but not exclusively at New World University. Students have acquiesced to textbooks required for their classes being a significant cost each term. Even at universities attended mostly by the wealthy one sees a burgeoning trade in used and pirated textbooks. Many institutions around the world operate as best they can with extremely limited funds, serving students without the means to expend a great deal. Colleges in wealthy countries that serve disadvantages populations, universities in low and middle income countries, and any other institution accustomed to doing more with less can well appreciate one of its students' principal costs being lessened or even eliminated.

In short, the Centre wants to do for educational curricula what open source software has done for computing: focus cooperative efforts to bring about low cost, high quality alternatives to commercial products.

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