Interdisciplinary survey of people of African descent that draws on the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. This course connects the experiences of African-Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns.

In this project, MIT is turning to open-enrollment community colleges as important thought leaders and implementers in the field of open education. By pairing OER from MIT OpenCourseWare with the impactful classroom applications of open education principles and practices, our work together furthers the shared goal of increased equity, inclusivity, and access for students. And, by collaborating across different sectors of higher education, we build on one another’s strengths and create new pathways for learning.

By joining forces across different sectors of higher education, we are utilizing one another’s strengths to build a strong foundation and model for successful cross-institution open collaborations. So far, we have implemented content curation for specific course topics, provided individual consultations for participating faculty, started building community across those participating, and conducted reflective practice interviews where we are learning about community college faculty’s approaches and curricular needs.

What are we learning in this pilot project? In our first round of reflective practice interviews conducted by Sarah Hansen, assistant director of open education innovation at MIT OpenCourseWare, here are some of the recurring themes that have emerged from our conversations with community college faculty thus far. Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.