By Kim Thanos, CEO

In conjunction with Open Education Week 2019, we’re happy to introduce the OER Degree Initiative Course Catalog, a collection of course materials developed for the Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, led by Achieving the Dream (ATD).

Aimed at removing textbook affordability and access as obstacles to student success, this initiative has built capacity for participating colleges to develop and implement full OER degree programs, which offer students an option to use OER course materials instead of expensive textbooks for every required course. According to a recent report on the initiative’s progress, participating colleges offered nearly 3,000 sections of 385 different OER courses, impacting over 70,000 students since the project began in 2016. Together, the colleges introduced 45 OER Degree pathways, yielding net textbook cost savings of $6.5 million. 

Lumen Learning provided technical support to colleges and faculty members participating in the grant project. The OER Degree Initiative Catalog helps fulfill an important goal for the grant project: making the OER Degree Initiative course materials available to the broader education community.

What’s in the OER Degree Initiative Catalog?

The catalog includes course materials used by participating colleges to fulfill the OER Degree pathways they developed.

Currently the catalog includes materials for 100+ different college courses, spanning a variety of disciplines and subjects, and we expect to add more courses over time. Many are high-enrollment courses that meet general education requirements. Others are required courses for specific degree programs.

You can search the catalog by discipline and by college contributing the OER courses. When you click on any course, you can freely access a website containing the OER content for that course.

Where do these OER course materials come from?

Most of the courses in the OER Degree Initiative Catalog were contributed by the 38 community colleges participating in the ATD-led grant project. Some colleges adopted course materials developed and curated by Lumen Learning, and these are also included in the catalog.

The course design process asked faculty members and course design teams to align OER content with course learning outcomes. All courses in the OER Degree Initiative catalog have been through an open licensing review by Lumen Learning. Except where otherwise noted, all OER Degree Initiative course content is licensed under a CC BY license.

Lumen provides this content as a community service, in the same condition it was provided by institutions participating in the ATD-led grant project.

How can I access and use these OER course materials?

All course materials are and will continue to be freely available through the OER Degree Initiative Catalog.

For a modest course support fee that replaces the cost of expensive textbooks, Lumen Learning provides support services including LMS integration, the ability to customize and edit course content, faculty training and technical support.

Contact us or send a note to to learn more about Lumen’s OER courses and support services.

Learn more about the Achieving the Dream OER Degree Initiative


Photo Attribution: NESA by Makers on Unsplash