FARMINGTON HILLS — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, announced a new program, ed2go for public libraries, that brings turnkey online training and education systems to the public library market.
Ed2go, also part of Cengage Learning, provides online training courses for the adult education, career, and corporate training markets through partnerships with colleges, universities, community-based organizations and now through public libraries.
“The mission of many public libraries is to inspire lifelong learning among patrons,” said Gerry Sawchuk, publisher, public library solutions for Gale. “With ed2go courses designed specifically for this diverse audience, we are equipping public libraries with the tools to do just that.”
The ed2go for public libraries program, developed as a result of Cengage Learning’s unique position within the library, classroom and adult learning markets, will offer patrons access to hundreds of instructor-led online courses covering everything from health and wellness to digital photography, computer programming, GED test preparation and much more.
Ed2go courses are developed by expert instructors, many currently working at universities around the country, and use Cengage Learning’s proven pedagogy to ensure classes are engaging and informative. Each individual course is offered online for six weeks and features 12 lessons with online discussions, homework, quizzes and a final exam. Though these are not college equivalent courses, certificate programs are available for careers in the medical field, project management and computer networking.
Ed2go for public libraries features a subscription model designed specifically for libraries — librarians purchase access to a catalog of ed2go courses which are then offered free to patrons, who can select specific courses to enroll in. Libraries in turn get robust product administration and usage reporting capabilities enabling the easy tracking of successful patron outcomes.
The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System recently piloted the ed2go program as part of its eCampus initiative to address lifelong learning in its community and deliver workforce development resources, programs and services. The results have been highly successful.
* There have been 226 ed2go course registrations since September 2011, and in January 2012 usage soared 300 percent from the month prior.
* Average of 18 course registrations per month from September – December 2011, with that number jumping to 38 from January – April 2012.
* Customers keep coming back – 46 people have registered for 2 or more courses.
“Our goal was to find online resources that could serve a wide community base with varied learning needs. Through our strategic partnerships with organizations like Cengage Learning, we’ve been able to offer exciting and user-friendly digital tools, like ed2go, to our community,” said Jurée Hall, eCampus Project Coordinator, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. “The positive feedback and growth in enrollments shows we’re on the right track.”