The JVLA intends to capitalize on the shared mission, and pedagogy of Jesuit schools to build a collaborative community committed to OER.
The purpose of the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy is to serve as a collaborative platform for the community of Jesuit secondary schools. We do this by providing innovations in the delivery of credit-bearing courses for students, professional development opportunities for faculty, and the provision of a technology platform that encourages communication and collaboration among our schools.
Noting the rich shared history, mission, and pedagogy of our Jesuit schools, the Ignatian Academy of Excellence is designed to be a common workspace and sharing platform for the network. It will be a place where trusted teachers can collaborate around core disciplines to share and vet course content, discuss teaching methods, share classroom activities, explore technology tools, and more. The three primary tools being deploying are Moodle for the development and delivery of courses and programs, Connexions/RHAPTOS which will serve as the JVLA's primary content repository, and Conenza, a community-building platform for connecting teachers and resources.
Go Forth and Teach, one of the foundational documents of Jesuit education, states, "In order to promote an awareness of "others," Jesuit education stresses community values such as equality of opportunity for all, the principles of distributive and social justice, and the attitude of mind that sees service of others as more self-fulfilling than success or prosperity." The OER movement provides a practical way for Jesuit schools to live out this call; and the Ignatian Academy of Excellence provides us the proper platform to 1) introduce and promote the use of open educational resources, 2) provide teacher training on the effective use and/or development of OER, 3) vet content to identify and share the best available resources, 4) share best practices, lesson plans and more regarding the use of OER, and 5) collaborate on the development of additional resources.
The current focus of the JVLA and the Ignatian Academy of Excellence is serving the network of North American schools. However, the OER movement provides us an opportunity to engage the larger network of over 400 Jesuit schools worldwide.