OpenStax K–12 OER Unit Intros Crosswalk Doc for AP Biology Mapping

Open educational resources produced for higher education are increasingly finding a foothold in K-12 too. A new practice by OER publisher OpenStax will help bridge the gap by aligning the contents of its textbooks with high school learning standards. The first example of the project specifically maps the content the OpenStax AP Biology textbook and the College Board's recently updated Course and Exam Description (CED) for AP Biology.

In a write-up about the effort, Andrew Giannakakis, director of K-12 initiatives, explained that a high school teacher could use the "crosswalk" document for doing planning with the OpenStax content without having to flip between the textbook and the CED information. Each unit in the OpenStax textbook, for example, opens with a header similar to what's found in the CED. Topics are organized sequentially and cover "enduring understandings," "learning objectives," "essential knowledge," "exclusion statement" and "illustrative examples," all elements used in the CED. One column on the document connects College Board standards with content from the OpenStax textbook. That's where the instructor will find chapter, section and page number information about the aligned material.

Inviting comment and feedback, Giannakakis wrote that the current document was "just one of many planned supplemental tools and resources intended to enhance the experience of our K12 users."

The OpenStax AP biology book is freely available on the organization's website. The crosswalk document is available to teachers on the instructor resource page. To access it, they must first register using a work address and receive approval.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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