WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Saylor.org, the free education initiative of the Saylor Foundation, is growing by web site leaps and iTunes bounds. The Washington, DC-based non-profit today announced that traffic to its web site increased 500 percent year-to-year, with 941,266 visits in 2012, as compared to 166,973 a year earlier. Inclusive of a new collaboration with iTunes U, Saylor.org's learning platforms attracted nearly 2,927,926 visits in 2012, or nearly 18 times the amount of visits a year earlier. The announcement was made by Alana Harrington, Director, Saylor Foundation.
"During a year when options for online education were exploding, we at the Saylor Foundation were proud to be putting our own mark on the reshaping of learning and the redefinition of student success," said Harrington. "Our mission is to make high quality education freely available to all, and the numbers show that more students are now marching boldly down the path that we're breaking for them."
Saylor.org launched in 2008 as a project of the Saylor Foundation, established by Michael J. Saylor, founder and CEO of business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, Inc. The free education initiative was given a mandate to make education freely available to all, and began by gathering resources and hiring experienced higher education teachers toward building a program of 241 college-level courses.
In addition to web site traffic and iTunes U distribution, Saylor.org reached a number of new milestones in 2012 by:
- offering at year-end a total of 277 free, online college courses across 15 areas of study, including the Arts, Humanities and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines;
- presenting more than 28 of those courses on iTunes U, with a 2013 plan to add one new course per month on that platform;
- announcing that the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) has approved three course exams for recommended credit; and
- awarding $80,000 to make four college textbooks available to the public through the Open Textbook Challenge.
While the program at Saylor.org can confer no degrees itself, the Saylor Foundation is working to make college credit a reachable goal for students of free online courses around the world. Approximately 60 percent of Saylor.org's online traffic comes from outside the United States, and that figure is growing. Also growing are the indicators of user engagement, as shown through metrics such as time on site, creation of ePortfolios, and course completions.
About The Saylor Foundation
The Saylor Foundation (under its legal name, The Constitution Foundation), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Foundation was established in 1999 by Michael J. Saylor, Chairman and CEO of the business intelligence company MicroStrategy, Inc. Mr. Saylor serves as the Foundation's sole trustee. Since 2008, the Foundation's Free Education Initiative (www.saylor.org) has focused on using technology to drive the cost of education to zero. Saylor.org serves as a zero-cost alternative for individuals who lack the resources to attend traditional brick-and-mortar institutions and as a complement to mainstream providers. The Saylor Foundation expects free, self-paced, automated online learning opportunities to motivate people to pursue personal growth and career ambitions as well as lead to institutional change among education providers everywhere.
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A photo accompanying this release is available at:
Source:The Saylor Foundation