Open Educational Resources

100,000 Students Use Lumen OER in Single Term

college student working with tablet and laptop

For the first time ever, 100,000 students have enrolled in Lumen Learning-supported courses in a single term. The threshold was crossed in June 2018, when a college success program offered at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana took the total count over the 100,000 mark. To commemorate the occasion, Lumen sent each of the 30 students in the course a check for $45, the amount saved per student because the instructor chose OER over a traditional textbook.

Lumen CEO Kim Thanos, in a statement, called the count a "milestone." "We develop OER course materials to be highly effective for learning, affordable and easy to access for students, and simple to adopt for time-crunched faculty members. As we take this combination to colleges and universities, we're seeing remarkable results."

"Many of our students face some type of financial hardship, and so OER can make a huge difference in their ability to persevere with their educational goals," added Sara Proffitt, Ivy Tech's director of instructional design services. "OER makes it possible for every student to access the materials they need to be successful from the first day of class."

This is far from the first course at Ivy Tech to use OER. The school, which has multiple locations all over the state, started working with Lumen in 2015 on a multi-year project to develop OER course materials as approved alternatives for many of its general education courses. Last year, about a fifth of the student population was able to take courses using OER. In addition, an efficacy research project found evidence of improved student outcomes in those classes: Students were more likely to receive a C or better and slightly less likely to drop classes compared to students in the non-OER sections.

Currently, Lumen's catalog addresses 50-plus high-enrollment courses. The fall 2018 semester has seen a bump by 50 percent in the number of schools enrolling a thousand or more students in their Lumen-supported class sections.

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 dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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