Open Educational Resources

Lumen Seeks Continuous Improvement of OER in Two-Prong Approach

The Learning Challenges Leaderboards are a communication device to inform instructors about the five current top challenges their usage of Lumen OER courses pose to students.

The Learning Challenges Leaderboards are a communication device to inform instructors about the five current top challenges their usage of Lumen OER courses pose to students. Source: Lumen Learning

A company that develops open courses has introduced two new initiatives intended to improve open educational resources (OER). Lumen Learning has launched the "Learning Challenges Leaderboards," an analysis of outcomes covered by OER where students have the greatest difficulty, as well as RISE and Shine, a community effort to improve the OER.

The intent of the Leaderboards is to provide data about the hardest learning outcomes in Lumen's Waymaker OER courses. The Leaderboards aggregate non-real-time information from assessments across the country to generate a "fine-grained view" into those skills where students struggle the most in each course.

The Leaderboards currently cover three subjects:

  • Introduction to Business, where the top student hurdle is explaining a demand curve, followed by differentiating between balance of trade and balance of payments;
  • Introduction to Psychology, where students struggle most with describing the "cognitive revolution" and how it shifted psychology's focus back to the mind, followed by describing Freud's influence on psychology and his biggest theoretical contributions; and
  • Introduction to Statistics, where students have the greatest difficulty with determining the goals of a statistical study from the research questions, foremost, followed by the challenge of determining the goal of a statistical study from the description of the study.

RISE and Shine is a two-part program. RISE is a form of automated classification promoted by Lumen Chief Academic Officer David Wiley, based on a framework he and two colleagues developed, to support the continuous improvement of OER. The framework can identify "the most problematic areas of a course" and identify which OER resources should just be pitched out altogether because they're not worth improving. Shine is the part of the program that invites people to lend their expertise in improving the OER.

Lumen has made an open call, inviting instructors to participate in efforts to improve OER in their respective disciplines. The organization has also put out an invitation to faculty to share both suggestions for improving specific "troublespots" and links for OER they'd recommend to others.

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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