On October 11, 2010 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in concert with EDUCAUSE, launched an RFP for the Next Generation Learning Challenges http://nextgenlearning.org. Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) is a collaborative, multi-year grant program aimed at dramatically increasing college readiness and completion through applied technology. Four initial NGLC challenges were identified; 1. blended learning, 2. learner analytics, 3. deeper learning and engagement, and 4. open core courseware. Pre-proposals were due Friday November 19, 2010.

BCcampus in partnership North Island College and College of the Rockies along with the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and other two- and four-year institutions from Colorado, Montana and Wyoming submitted a pre-proposal in the open core courseware category for a North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO). The North American Network of Science Labs Online builds on the success of the open educational science courseware and the Remote Web-based Science Laboratory (RWSL) developed through BCcampus Online Program Development Funds by a partnership of BC public post secondary institutions including North Island College, College of the Rockies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver Island University and Thompson Rivers University. This BC based development was licensed as open courseware using Creative Commons allowing it to be replicated by NANSLO which will support integration of RWSL technology and open science courseware in three gatekeeper courses required for science majors: biology, physics and chemistry.

On January 24, 2011 BCcampus was informed that out of more than 600 proposals submitted in response to the Next Generation Learning Challenges RFP the North American Network of Science Labs Online has been selected as one of 50 finalists in this first round of grant funding. Finalists will be listed on the Next Generation Learning Challenges web site. A full proposal will now be developed for the February 21, 2011 due date.

For the open, core courseware challenge, awards will be made at up to $750,000, for periods not to exceed 15 months. Follow‐on awards, totaling up to an additional $5,000,000, may be made to one or more grantees from this wave demonstrating particular effectiveness in scaling the development and adoption of open core courseware.

BCcampus is pleased to see the innovative, transformational work being done here in BC acknowledged in this way. Full awards will be announced on March 31, 2011.

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