By Brigeth Rivera

As part of our commitment to continuously improve OER course materials to strengthen learning, we’re pleased to announce an update to Waymaker Writing Skills Lab, a learning tool for writing and research courses, such as English Composition. Emphasizing hands-on practice, these course materials address writing gaps by helping all students get to a common level of readiness for writing at the college level.  

What’s Improved?

We’ve analyzed learning data and listened to faculty feedback to help us identify and make content updates, including adding two new modules. 

The updates include:

  • New Module: Revision targets high-level revision skills.
  • New Module: Reflection helps students practice and improve their reflection skills.
  • The Readability Module has been moved to the end of the course.
  • New PowerPoint slide decks for each module review all of the learning outcomes, concepts, and main ideas of the courses. The notes have guidance for faculty about in-class activities and practice questions.
  • Targeted content improvements based on student learning data using the RISE analysis led by Lumen’s David Wiley, Bob Bodily, and Ross Strader.

Content that Improves Continuously 

Waymaker Writing Skills Lab was originally created in partnership with the Writing and Rhetoric faculty at the University of Mississippi to help first-year writing students improve their readiness for college-level writing. 

Because this course is designed using open educational resources (OER), we have the ability to make timely improvements to strengthen learning for everyone using our courses. Each term we use behavioral and assessment data to analyze where the content isn’t supporting effective student learning. We work with subject matter experts and instructional designers to diagnose problems and design improvements to make the content more effective.  The following term we can test updates to see what’s working and where to target the next set of improvements. 

If you have content or suggestions you would like to contribute to help improve this course, send an email to 

Ways to Explore This Course: 

Access to this Course

To start teaching with this updated course or any other Lumen course materials, you’ll need to take the easy step of importing a new cartridge into your LMS. After that, you can go through your regular course setup steps to customize the materials to fit your syllabus and how you teach your course.

Simply complete this form or send an email to to get access to the course in your LMS.


Coming Soon: Waymaker English Composition I – Corequisite

Further expanding Lumen Learning offerings for writing, in June 2020, Lumen will release Waymaker English Composition I Corequisite. This new course will cover content traditionally taught with English Composition I, but supported with supplemental content for students to review and practice prerequisite reading and writing skills.