By Kim Thanos, CEO

As we celebrate Open Education Week 2018, I can’t help but reflect and acknowledge it’s an exciting time to be working with open educational resources (OER).

Reviewing what we accomplished last year collectively across all the institutions we support, we’re proud to announce that we finished 2017 with record-smashing enrollment figures: 170,000 students in Lumen-supported courses during 2017, resulting in $15 million in textbook cost savings! We’re on track for even faster growth in 2018.

But enrollment figures and cost savings are just part of the story. In the end, those figures are only meaningful if we are also improving student learning. In 2017 we saw important progress in measurably improving student success, and in closing the achievement gap through our work.

As 2018 rolls forward, I feel it’s important to be deliberate about the commitments Lumen is making to the educational institutions we serve, as well as the change Lumen exists to create.

To campus leaders we say: We will create and measure impact. We are investing to increase learning impact as measured by: number of students reached, cost savings, and learning gains. We commit to helping you make the largest possible impact with OER.

To faculty members we say: We exist to support your success. Learning data are telling us unequivocally that faculty members are integral to successful learning. In our conversations with you, we hear that you value the promise of OER, but wish that it were a little easier. We commit to giving faculty members user-friendly tools and shoulder-to-shoulder support to be tremendously effective teaching with OER.

To students we say: We commit to make OER better for student learning. Our latest generation of OER courses introduces data-driven improvements targeted at areas where students struggle. Check out this short video by David Wiley explaining how we’re doing this in our next-generation economics courses.   

In 2018 and beyond, Lumen is growing in ways that expand our collective impact. In another recent blog post I highlighted some of our recent learning data findings that confirm we’re on a promising path.

And finally, to all the faculty members, campus leaders, students, and OER champions who join us in this transformative work, we say thank you, on behalf of the full Lumen team, for your partnership and support. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about the video, the blog post, and your own reflections about your goals and challenges in our work together. Please reach out.