A row of silver champion trophy cups


Three Lumen Learning Customers Win 2018 Digital Learning Innovation Awards

Lumen OER courseware plays instrumental role in programs recognized for improving student outcomes using digital courseware

Portland, Ore. (November 28, 2018) – Salt Lake Community College, the University of Mississippi, and The American Women’s College at Bay Path University were among the 13 colleges and universities recognized by the 2018 Digital Learning Innovation (DLI) Awards. Each of these organizations uses open educational resources (OER) and digital courseware from Lumen Learning to achieve the student impacts that distinguish their award-winning programs. Administered by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and announced at the OLC Accelerate conference, the DLI Awards recognize programs taking an innovative approach to addressing important challenges faced by students, using digital courseware.

“We are honored to be part of visionary projects that simultaneously address affordability, access, and improving learning on a large scale,” said Kim Thanos, CEO of Lumen Learning. “OER courseware makes it possible for faculty members in each of these programs to design and deliver the learning experience they want to offer students – and then improve this experience over time. These awards demonstrate what a powerful difference that makes.”

Salt Lake Community College: Increasing Quantitative Literacy Pathway Completion

Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) received an institutional Digital Learning Innovation Award of $100,000 for its use of Lumen OHM to redesign quantitative literacy (QL) pathway courses with a focus on improving student success. Initially, SLCC faculty were drawn to OER to address textbook affordability and day one access. Lumen OHM gave them flexibility to design each course in QL pathway to fit how they want to teach, with lots of practice, immediate feedback and learning by doing from the first day of class. They also use OHM to support a “Mulligan Project,” an initiative that offers intrusive assistance to help students who struggle early in the QL pathway to change study habits and increase their likelihood of success.

The results have been remarkable: 25% more students per semester are completing the QL requirement since SLCC completed the shift to Lumen OHM. By helping many more students overcome the common stumbling block of the QL requirement, SLCC’s math department is eliminating an important barrier to college completion.

“Our arrangement with Lumen Learning is not a traditional vendor-customer relationship,” said Jason Pickavance, Director of Faculty Development and Educational Initiatives at Salt Lake Community College. “Instead, it feels like we are both part of a fundamental shift towards a future where faculty have greater control over how course materials support student learning.”

University of Mississippi: Addressing College Readiness Gaps in First-Year Composition

A faculty-led team from the University of Mississippi’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric received a $10,000 Digital Learning Innovation Award for innovative use of Lumen’s Waymaker personalized learning courseware in first-year composition classes. Using Waymaker, the Ole Miss team designed interactive “mini-modules” focused on core rhetorical knowledge and skills. They wanted the modules to bridge common gaps in students’ preparation to write effectively at the college level and reinforce foundational knowledge without adding to in-class lecture time.

The team was eager to use open content not only to ensure low cost, but also so they could adapt learning activities to make them engaging and relevant for students, and deeply connected to the experiences and needs of Ole Miss faculty and first-year students.

The courseware has been well-received. According to student surveys, 69% feel the personalized learning courseware helps improve success with major writing projects. Faculty members find the courseware helpful for diagnosing where and how to help struggling students. After a successful, 1000-student pilot, the courseware is now used across all sections of first-year composition.

“Working with Lumen Learning to implement Waymaker, we’ve had the opportunity to develop precisely the type of tool our department was looking for, and to ensure it is a strong fit for our students and how we teach,” said Guy Krueger, Writing 101 Curriculum Chair at the University of Mississippi. “We look forward to continuing to enhance the courseware and how it supports student learning.”

The American Women’s College at Bay Path University: Using OER to Lower Costs and Improve Learning

A faculty-led team from The American Women’s College (TAWC) at Bay Path University received a $10,000 Digital Learning Innovation Award for its work to redesign 51 courses as low-cost, adaptive courses that effectively support learning for the nontraditional women pursuing accelerated baccalaureate degrees through its online programs.

Using a centralized model for developing and managing its adaptive courses, TAWC’s award-winning initiative uses OER content from Lumen Learning and other openly-licensed sources to ensure course materials remain low cost to students. Course designers map and organize content into adaptive pathways that help students master learning outcomes.

Students’ outcomes are impressive, particularly for an online program serving nontraditional learners: TAWC reports rates of 75% retention, 93% course completion, and 95% student satisfaction using this approach. Additionally, the shift to OER resulted in $176,000 in textbook cost savings to students during AY2017-18.

“The adult women students we serve face many obstacles to completing a college degree, but OER content and adaptive technology can make the path smoother,” said Maura Devlin, Deputy Chief Learning Officer, The American Women’s College at Bay Path University. “Our team has made huge strides finding better ways to design and deliver adaptive courses that support our students with the challenges they face balancing education with work, family responsibilities, and financial need.”

Innovating at Scale Using OER

These 2018 Digital Learning Innovation Awards recognize the powerful combination of well-designed courseware and open content, in projects that improve the educational experience for thousands of students every term.

“In 2018, educators are looking for more and better options to support teaching and learning innovation, and that means more affordable choices that support more effective learning, and more support to help students and faculty succeed,” said Lumen CEO Thanos. “It’s gratifying to support institutions like Salt Lake, Ole Miss, and Bay Path University as they develop new, transformative models for how to regain academic ownership and support teaching and learning innovation.”

About Lumen Learning

Lumen Learning uses open educational resources (OER) to provide affordable course materials that improve learning and replace expensive textbooks in high-enrollment college courses. Adding timely updates, learning design, and technical support to OER, Lumen makes the transition to open content simple, reliable, and effective for instructors and students.

Lumen OER courseware includes Waymaker personalized learning course materials, OHM online homework system for math and other quantitative subjects, and Candela courses providing simple eTextbook replacement. Over 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. use Lumen-supported digital courseware for in-person, online, and blended courses. Materials created by Lumen are published under Creative Commons Attribution licenses and contributed back to the education community. Learn more at lumenlearning.com, and visit our course catalog at lumenlearning.com/courses/.

Media Contact

Julie Curtis, VP Strategy & Communication

Lumen Learning

+1.503.840.5569 | julie@lumenlearning.com  

Photo Attribution: Ariel Besagar on Unsplash