Taking Saylor's Open Courses

The Saylor Foundation (under its legal name, The Constitution Foundation) was established in 1999 and is dedicated to reducing the cost of education and expanding access to quality open educational resources. Open courses offered by the Saylor Foundation have been designed by trained instructional designers and subject matter experts. On the surface, these courses resemble syllabi. They contain learning outcomes, time advisories and break the course down into individual units. Within these units, students will find educational materials such as readings, videos, activities and assessments. Additionally, students have access to an e-portfolio account and student discussion boards where students can track their progress and access to the Saylor learning community, where they can find additional support.

Saylor courses are different from Thomas Edison State College courses in three important ways.

  • First, these courses are entirely self-directed, self-paced and have no mentor support. Students are free to take as little or as long as they want to work through a particular unit or course.
  • Second, the assessment structure is different. Thomas Edison State College courses generally have discussion board posts, assignments and assessments throughout the course. While some Saylor courses also have assessments throughout, these assessments do not count towards a student's grade.
  • Third, Saylor courses do not earn a student credit, unless they take one of the assessments we list on the Open Course Option page.

To get started taking Saylor's open courses, visit Saylor.org and follow these steps:

  1. Create a Saylor account and e-portfolio. This will allow you to track your progress, access Saylor's student forums and collaborate with other students.
  2. Next, select the course you want to start take.
  3. Once you are on the course page of the course you want to take, read through the introduction. This will give you important instructions and advice for completing the course.
  4. Move on to Unit 1 and begin to work your way through the units in sequential order. It is important to note that with Saylor courses, students do not have direct contact with mentors. However, in some courses, Saylor Foundation faculty are available through the online forums.
  5. Once you have completed the course, there will be a final exam. This exam can be used as practice if you wish to earn credit through one of the formal exam options (TECEP®, CLEP®, NCCRS), but it is not required unless you plan to earn credit through the portfolio option, you must take the final exam. The results of this exam will be part of the evidence section in your portfolio.
  6. Finally, if you wish to use the Saylor NCCRS exam or a CLEP® exam to earn credit, please contact Devon Ritter at devon.ritter@saylor.org.

For more information, check out our FAQs page or contact our Learner Support Center at lsc@tesc.edu or (888) 442-8372, weekdays from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (ET).