Open Ed 13: A Red Hat for OER: Lumen’s Journey

Kim Thanos and David Wiley talk about their business, Lumen Learning.

“After a decade and $100M US in foundation funding, an incredible amount of high quality open educational resources exist which are only rarely used in formal settings. The situation feels very much like it did with open source software a decade ago. At the turn of the century, almost everyone had heard of open source and was interested in potentially saving money and improving the stability and quality of their technology offerings, but very few institutions had either the bravery or the capacity to run systems for which there was no formal training and no technical support. Red Hat stepped into this vast pool of curiosity and caution with training, technical support, and other services that put adopting Linux within the reach of a normal institution.

Lumen is trying to do exactly same thing – step into the deep pool of curiosity and caution around open educational resources with the faculty training, academic leadership consulting, technical and pedagogical support, learning analytics services, and other pieces necessary to put adopting OER within reach of a normal institution. In the past year we’ve worked with dozens of secondary and post-secondary institutions and learned many – sometimes painful – lessons.

In this presentation we’ll review our first year of lessons learned, including what works, what not to do, and how our business model has evolved over our first year.”

Their 90/10 goal is to lower the cost by 90% and increase success by 10%. Success = C or better.

The OER are free but they charge for their time to come in and support the OER roll-out. 

60% of students do not purchase a textbook at one time because of cost.
23% never buy textbooks. 

Lumen wants 100% of the students to have access to free, digital materials from day one. They decided to go with .com like Flatworld Knowledge. It is a company because “their is not enough diversity” in the OER landscape. Their model is like MoodleRooms or rSmart. This is the “sustainability” question. 

Candela OER Services from Open Learning provide training, best practices for implementation, online and phone support, analytics, LMS integration, long term access to course data. Providing services to help institutions adopt and implement.


  • Full math sequence
  • Full dev ed
  • Gen Ed and Business
  • 65 highest enrolled courses in Gen Ed and business

Perils of the Business Model

  • Transition from studetn budget to institutional budget
  • Our absolutes, no pay wall, no raping and pillaging
  • Our preferences – one time services as needed, but focus on sustained, supported improvements
  • What is the right bundle?er enrollment? Per course? Per bundle?

Pricing models
Per course 2000k

Enhanced by Zemanta
This entry was posted in OER, Open education resources, Open textbook and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.