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.
Since FCC first opened in 2003, many OER textbooks have been developed. As a result, the Centre currently has two ongoing projects, that seek not to create new textbooks, but instead to add value to those that already exist:
- The first of these is our Multimedia Enhancement Project, which creates playlists of videos or podcasts designed to accompany existing OER textbooks produced by others. In our own use with textbooks, partners and students have asked for these sorts of multimedia enhancements to the OER textbooks we use in our programmes. These playlists can consist of original material, or curated playlists of material found on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
- The second of these is our Mobile Textbooks Project, which takes OER textbooks that are only available in PDF or Word format and converts them to EPUB format so that they can be readily used on mobile devices, including smartphones. Help us!
Through these projects, we seek 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.