May 22, 2024

7 Questions with Lumen Learning Founders Kim Thanos and David Wiley — Campus Technology

6 min read


7 Questions with Lumen Learning Founders Kim Thanos and David Wiley

Around the past 10 years, Lumen Finding out has expanded its target on open up academic assets to encompass courseware, skilled enhancement, on the web community constructing and much more. Here’s how the firm is tackling issues of fairness and pupil good results.

Digital courseware company Lumen Learning a short while ago introduced a Gates Foundation-funded initiative to develop and carry out equitable training course materials for gateway classes, with the target of reducing race and earnings as predictors of university student achievements. The company is partnering with minority-serving institutions to co-style and pilot the courseware, starting up with a reinvention of Introduction to Stats. We sat down with Lumen founders Kim Thanos and David Wiley to obtain out additional about their perform. The next discussion has been edited for size and clarity.  

Campus Technological know-how: October marked Lumen Learning’s 10-yr anniversary. Could you converse a minor little bit about how the organization started?

David Wiley: Lumen had its beginnings back again in 2010 with Undertaking Kaleidoscope, a grant-funded effort to aid faculty at 8 establishments throughout the region in adopting OER in position of the proprietary products they’d been applying in advance of. If you don’t forget again to that 10 years, there’d been $100 million bucks used by foundations funding the development of OER — but no person was really using them in course. They have been employing them as supplements, but they were not using them in spot of other elements. So they weren’t really preserving learners any cash and they weren’t enabling the effect that we all hoped OER could have.

At the conclude of that task, we experienced the possibility to propose an additional grant to the [Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation], in which they established a stretch intention for us of attempting to do the job with 30 institutions. It was form of a challenge from the foundation: You did it with 8, could you do it with 30?

7 questions with lumen learning

And that’s really the impetus of how Lumen obtained started off, with our fascination in 1) can we use OER to increase access to training course resources for students, and 2) will improved obtain to system products consequence in improved university student mastering. And it turns out that the solutions to those people two issues are that OER will reliably, constantly preserve pupils dollars. But college adopting OER does not reliably, persistently direct to far better outcomes for pupils. Extra frequently than not, it potential customers to the same results at reduce costs, which is good. Getting the exact same thing for reduce expense is wonderful. But above time, we started to get the sense that the position quo in terms of results, particularly for marginalized groups of college students — it wasn’t all right just to have the identical variety of lousy final results but make them much less highly-priced.

CT: I recall Challenge Kaleidoscope very well, since Campus Technology recognized one particular of the lover schools with an Innovators Award in 2012. It really is fun to consider all the way back again to that time, and recall just how novel the concept was to substitute textbooks fully with OER options.

Kim Thanos: We understood the dilemma we had been hoping to fix, and we ended up exploring probable options — and that centered all over entry and affordability, with this aim of much better achievement for the reason that of obtain and affordability. And like David explained, what we uncovered was we could clear up element of that, and then much more was needed. That form of exploration, trial and mistake, is actually core to Lumen’s DNA. I am not confident we realized it at the time, but it actually is a circumstance of peeling the onion around university student achievements: You remedy a difficulty that exposes a greater depth to the larger established of challenges.

Source connection Seven Questions with Lumen Learning Founders Kim Thanos and David Wiley–Campus Technology

We recently had the chance to sit down with Kim Thanos and David Wiley, the co-founders of Lumen Learning, an educational technology company. In our conversation, we learned about their commitment to open educational resources, their impact on student learning, and their plans for the future. Here’s what they had to say.

Q1: What inspired you to found Lumen Learning?

Kim Thanos: Lumen Learning was born out of my own experience as a student and educator. As a student, I loved the freedom and flexibility that open educational resources (OERs) provided. As an instructor, I saw the impact that OERs could have on my students’ learning.

David Wiley: Our mission is to help everyone realize the potential of open educational resources. We believe in the promise of OERs and that everyone should benefit from learning tools and materials. That’s why we launched Lumen Learning—we wanted to make it easier for educators and institutions to access OERs and to ensure that every student has access to high-quality learning content.

Q2: What impact have Lumen Learning’s open educational resources had on student learning?

Kim Thanos: Lumen Learning has helped hundreds of thousands of students improve their understanding of course material and increase their performance on assessments. We believe that access to high-quality OERs has enabled students to take ownership of their learning and take more responsibility for their success.

David Wiley: We’ve found that students who use Lumen Learning’s OERs experience higher engagement with the course material, increased confidence in their knowledge and skills, and improved performance. We’ve also seen an increase in the number of students enrolled in college courses that use OERs.

Q3: What makes Lumen Learning different from other open educational resources?

Kim Thanos: We strive to make OERs easier to use and more accessible to everyone. Lumen Learning makes it easy for instructors to find, customize, and use OERs in their courses. We offer a suite of assessment tools, analytics, and support to help instructors integrate OERs into their courses more effectively.

David Wiley: We also offer professional services to help staff and faculty understand the concept of and opportunities for open educational resources. This helps them to become better stewards of their resources, engage their community in open dialogue, and develop strategies for successful use of open educational resources.

Q4: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in the past?

Kim Thanos: One of the biggest challenges was getting the word out about Lumen Learning and the concept of OERs. We’ve worked hard to cultivate relationships with campuses, educators, and students to spread awareness about our mission and the potential of OERs.

David Wiley: We’ve also had to navigate the shifting landscape of educational technology. We’ve had to adjust our strategy numerous times to stay ahead of the curve and to meet the changing needs of our clients.

Q5: What has been your biggest success so far?

Kim Thanos: We’ve seen tremendous growth in the number of students, instructors, and institutions using Lumen Learning in the past few years. We’ve also seen an increase in the number of open educational resources available. That’s a testament to our impact on education.

David Wiley: We’ve also been pleased to see an increase in the recognition and adoption of open educational resources. Institutions are recognizing the value of OERs and making investments in them to create an open learning environment that is beneficial for all.

Q6: What does the future look like for Lumen Learning?

Kim Thanos: We’re committed to staying at the forefront of educational innovation. We’re working hard to develop new tools and services to support OERs and to ensure that every student and institution has access to the best learning content.

David Wiley: We’re also focused on finding new ways to collaborate and partner with institutions, organizations, and individuals to bring our mission to a wider audience. We’re looking forward to continuing to make a positive impact on education and learning.

Q7: What would you like to share with our readers who are interested in incorporating open educational resources into their own teaching or curriculum?

Kim Thanos: We believe everyone should take advantage of the power of open educational resources. The rewards are immeasurable—better quality content, improved engagement and retention, and equal access to learning materials. Embrace the power of OERs and create an environment where everyone can succeed.

David Wiley: We also suggest connecting with the open education community. This can be a great resource for finding OERs, and for getting advice and support from experts. And, as always, keep an open mind and find creative ways to leverage OERs.