CourseSource: A(nother) New Hope

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

I came across CourseSource a few weeks ago, and I'm pretty excited:

CourseSource is an open-access journal of peer-reviewed teaching resources for undergraduate biological sciences. We publish articles that are organized around courses in biological disciplines and aligned with learning goals established by professional societies representing those disciplines.

I'm also puzzled. Academics spend a lot of time on teaching: just from self-interest, you'd think they would have created something like this decades ago in order to give one another credit for all that hard work. Whatever the reasons, I like this because:

  • It's a way for people to get credit for polishing lessons that existing academic systems can digest.

  • Pre-publication or post-publication, open or anonymous—none of that matters as much as having peer review take place at all. (I'm particularly excited by the idea of having both educators and domain experts review lessons.)

  • If it catches on, people might finally stop building portals and other aggregators for lessons, because existing indexing services will do that job.

We're planning to publish updates to our lessons some time in 2016. I don't think CourseSource will be the right venue—we're not specific to biology, and not aimed at undergraduates—but it would be great to get them up to their standards.

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