Wide Open Spaces - Open Educational Resources, Open Degree Plans, and Competency Based Education: Debate and Discussion on Ways to Meet the Needs of Adult Learners


Integrating OER (open educational resources) into undergraduate and graduate capstone courses offers the opportunity to serve learners across disciplines. The Professional Studies degrees at Purdue University Global are competency-based, allow learners to craft their own individualized learning plan, include credit for prior learning, and use OER as a cost-effective means for providing learning resources. The professional studies degrees at PG are designed with self-motivated learners in mind and offers the opportunity to create a customized degree plan to meet learners’ individual professional and academic goals integrating credit for prior learning. The open degree program provides learners with the flexibility of learning through resources that come from within and outside PG, both prior to and during the degree completion process. This workshop offers an opportunity for discussion and debate on benefits/challenges of OER, open degree plans, faculty mentoring, use of OER in capstone courses, and competency-based education. Participants will engage in discussion about trends in learning spaces for higher education designed for the adult learner. These wide-open spaces offer the adult learner options for earning a college degree at their own pace, saving time and money. Outcomes for the workshops are: 1. Understand ways OER can be integrated into degree programs. 2. Discuss ways OERs create educational equity. 3. Debate benefits and challenges of OER 4. Learn ways open degree plans assist adult learners in degree completion 5. Apply skills and knowledge to individual institution settings.


Carolyn Stevenson
Faculty, Professional Studies, Purdue University Global, Illinois, United States


Presentation Type

Workshop Presentation


New Digital Institutions and Spaces


OER, Online learning, Adult learners, Competency-based education, Prior learning

Digital Media


Wide Open Spaces (Embed)


Wide Open Spaces (pptx)