The Saylor Foundation (under its legal name, The Constitution Foundation) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC . It was established in 1999 by its sole trustee, Michael J. Saylor , who is Chairman, CEO, and President of the MicroStrategy business intelligence . [1] Since 2008, the focus of the foundation has been its Free Education Initiative which has led to the creation of 241 courses representing the highest enrollment majors in the US. [2] Saylor is the author of the new book, The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything , which extols the open education movement. [3]

The Saylor Foundation is known for its emphasis on finding, vetting, and assembling openly available texts and resources into resembling those of a traditional brick and mortar institution which are then peer-reviewed before being published. [4] The Open Textbook Challenge. This content is always open for licensed use by other organizations and individuals. The foundation is currently under the direction of Amanda Antico-Majkowski. [5]


The mission of the foundation is to make education freely available to all. Guided by the belief that technology has the potential to circumvent barriers that prevent the individuals from participating in traditional schooling models, the foundation is committed to developing and advancing inventive and effective ways of harnessing technology in order to drive the cost of education down to zero. [6]


On its website, the foundation offers 317 free, college-level courses, which are selected in high enrollment majors at traditional US colleges. [7] The foundation’s race catalog is designed to be as open as possible, with all content accessible to the website. Their system has been described as “easy to use and straightforward”, making use of a simple interface, clear directions and a visual representation of how complete are materials. [2]

The foundation works with consultants to design the courses. These consultants are typically university and college faculty members or subject experts. The race design process begins with a college faculty member developing a blueprint for the course. The consultant then researches open educational resources (OER) to supply the course with lectures, texts, and other resources. The OER community under a Creative Commonslicense. [8] Each course is also accompanied by an assessment that they can use both to test their knowledge and to officially demonstrate the knowledge they have gained. [2] In the future, The foundation will be issuing badges as a form of alternate credentialing. [9]

After OER materials are assembled into the race format, the material is peer-reviewed to provide accuracy, quality, and that each race contains a level of knowledge that is equivalent or greater than a similar race at a US college. [4] Each peer-review is completed by a group of consultants, usually consisting of two professors and a graduate student. [6]

Open Textbook Challenge

The Saylor Foundation has been known for organizing comprehensive curriculum for popular subject areas, and licensing the resources under the Creative Commons attribution license whenever possible. [4] Now with the launch of its “Open Textbook Challenge”, the foundation aims to expand the amount of openly licensed materials by offering a $ 20,000 award for open textbooks . [10] The Open Textbook Challenge announced in January 2012 the first round of winning authors: Kenneth Kuttler and Olivier Bonaventure . [11] [12]

Accreditation and credentialing

While the Saylor Foundation is not accredited within any traditional system, they have been featured as a prime candidate for a system of alternative accreditation through the use of badges . [7] The Foundation has stated its intentions to open the Infrastructure of the Mozilla Foundation . This project by the Mozilla Foundation, in tandem with the HASTAC organization, will allow website visitors to issue and display badges within a single inter-operable and open source system.


The foundation is a local sponsor of Wikimania 2012 in Washington DC. [14]

See also

  • Open textbook


  1. Jump up^ Our Mission, Our Vision, Our Strategy
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Thibault, Joseph. “241 OER Courses with Assessments in Moodle: How has created one of the largest free and open courses on the web” . . Retrieved 30 January 2012 .
  3. Jump up^ Saylor, Michael (2012). The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything . Perseus Books / Vanguard Press. p. 63.
  4. ^ Jump up to:c CCAP (2011-09-14). “Saylor as Savior?” . Forbes . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  5. Jump up^ “Our Trustee & Team” . . Retrieved 2014-01-12 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b “PR information” (PDF) . . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:b “Online course startups Virtually offer free college” . The Washington Post. 2012-12-21 . Retrieved 2012-12-25 .
  8. Jump up^ “Saylor Foundation to Launch Multi-Million Dollar Open Textbook Challenge!” College Open Textbooks Blog ” . 2011-08-09 . Retrieved 2011-10-21 .
  9. Jump up^ Vedder, Richard. “Beware: Alternative Certification Is Coming”. Chronicle of Higher Education . Retrieved 31 January 2012 .
  10. Jump up^ Park, Jane. “$ 20,000 Open Textbook Challenge from the Saylor Foundation” . CreativeCommons . Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  11. Jump up^ “Open Textbook Challenge Wave I Winners Announced !!” . January 31, 2012.
  12. Jump up^ Sohn, Tim (2012-02-02). “Saylor Foundation Names Open Textbook Challenge Winners” .
  13. Jump up^ Mozilla Open Badges Project
  14. Jump up^ Wikimania comes to Washington DC

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