“Free and Better” Open Educational Resources Boost Math Student Achievement
Taking aim at persistent problems with first-year student achievement, New York’s Mercy College piloted an OER-based College Algebra course to see if OER could offer a free and better alternative to boost student learning. Results were so promising that all sections shifted to OER the following semester, supported by Lumen Learning. Textbook cost savings amount to more than $125,000 per year. Over three semesters, passing rates (with a C or better) rose from 48% to 69%.
Tidewater Community College
A Zero Textbook Cost Degree Program
In 2013, Tidewater Community College, located in coastal Virginia, became the first accredited institution in the U.S. to offer a degree in which students pay nothing for required textbooks. Dubbed the “Z-Degree” (for zero textbook cost) and developed with courseware and support from Lumen Learning, the first-of-its-kind program awards an associate of science degree in business administration. Preliminary data show fewer students withdraw from the program’s Z courses before the drop deadline, translating into more successful students and tuition revenue.