Grants

The American Assembly

To support the growth and sustainability of a large-scale online database of university course syllabi

  • Amount $749,399
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Joseph Karaganis
  • Year 2017
  • Program Digital Technology
  • Sub-program Scholarly Communication

In 2013, the Sloan Foundation approved a two-year grant to Joe Karaganis at the American Assembly to prototype a system to aggregate and make available data about what materials are assigned on course syllabi. The resulting Open Syllabus Project team publicly launched the first version of their Syllabus Explorer in early 2016. Within two months, the site logged over 250,000 visits, and was written up in the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Time magazine. Funds from this grant provide continuing support to the effort, allowing the project to increase both the scale and richness of the syllabus data available for analysis. Funded activities include development of algorithms to allow the database to better recognize articles in STEM fields, expansion of the platform to enable the incorporation of datasets, software, and other items that might be published with a Document Object Identifier, and a pilot partnership with the Digital Public Library of America to mobilize the syllabus data in the service of public libraries.  

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