Careful Attention to Learning Design Shapes New OER-based College Algebra Corequisite Course from Lumen Learning

Course materials meet students where they are, providing built-in review and remediation designed to increase student confidence and success in math

Portland, Ore. (November 12, 2019) – Today open education innovator Lumen Learning announced the availability of a new version of its popular College Algebra course that uses corequisite remediation to bridge gaps in student preparedness for college-level math. Lumen’s College Algebra Corequisite includes an interactive digital textbook designed using open educational resources (OER) and aligned homework and assessments delivered through the company’s low-cost online homework system, Lumen OHM. The courseware’s learning design employs multiple approaches to support effective learning, particularly for students who are more likely to struggle in math. 

“A shift towards corequisite course design is well under way in many states, and teachers are using Lumen OHM for corequisite courses because its flexible platform and vast question libraries readily support the corequisite model,” said Kim Thanos, CEO of Lumen Learning. “Lumen’s new College Algebra Corequisite course applies the best ideas from across our community for how to do corequisite remediation well.”

Across the U.S., educational institutions are shifting away from the prerequisite model of traditional developmental education for underprepared students and towards corequisite remediation. The corequisite model builds opportunities to review and (re)learn math skills into college-level classes, equipping students to perform college-level work. This shift is driven by compelling research indicating that under the traditional prerequisite model, many underprepared students dropout of college before completing multi-term remedial sequences that do not count towards a degree. Research also indicates many remedial students could pass college-level courses if given the opportunity to enroll. 

“As math departments and faculty members adopt the corequisite approach, it takes time to figure out how to build it effectively into course design, assessments, and the tools students use to learn the math,” said Paul Golisch, Lumen’s Director of Teaching & Learning and a former math professor from the Maricopa Community College System. “This new College Algebra Corequisite course provides multiple options for how students access remedial content, depending on how instructors want to teach and how students prefer to learn.” 

Unlike many corequisite math solutions, Lumen’s College Algebra Corequisite course adds remediation from two directions. First, the course includes a preparatory review segment before each module to teach or refresh the foundational math skills students need to master the college-level material. Second, the course also includes “just-in-time” remedial content embedded with the college-level content, providing learning tips and material to help students recall the foundational math required to work the college-level problems. 

A math tip in a College Algebra course, providing corequisite remediation by helping students recall how to graph nonlinear equations

An example of a “just-in-time” math tip to provide corequisite remediation in Lumen’s College Algebra Corequisite course, from the module on Systems of Equations and Inequalities.

All learning outcomes are assessed in a variety of ways, with pre-built pretests, interactive practice assessments, online homework assignments, and graded quizzes and tests. Lumen OHM makes it simple for faculty members to choose and customize the assessments that are most relevant to their course structure, including items related to the remedial content their students may need. The course’s interactive OER textbook augments learning with text, worked example videos, and ample opportunities inviting students to practice and get immediate feedback as they learn the math.

“Because there isn’t just one way to teach a corequisite course, flexibility and choice are essential for both students and faculty,” said Deborah Devlin, a math instructor at Frostburg State University who worked with Lumen as a primary subject matter expert for the new course. “By designing this course from an instructor’s perspective with attention to learning design, and with the student in mind as the reader, it provides great support for different teaching practices and it meets students where they are to help them succeed at college-level math.” 

As faculty and students use Lumen’s College Algebra Corequisite course, the company will apply its continuous improvement process to make ongoing updates focused on improving learning. Lumen plans to expand its math catalog with additional courses that incorporate corequisite remediation in the future: Quantitative Reasoning Corequisite will be released in spring 2020, with other titles to follow. 

About Lumen Learning 

Lumen Learning uses open educational resources (OER) to provide affordable course materials that improve learning and replace expensive textbooks in high-enrollment college courses. Adding timely updates, learning design, and technical support to OER, Lumen makes the transition to open content simple, reliable, and effective for instructors and students. 

Lumen OER courseware includes Waymaker personalized learning course materials, as well as OHM online homework system for math and other quantitative subjects. Over 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. use Lumen-supported digital courseware for in-person, online, and blended courses. Materials created by Lumen are published under Creative Commons Attribution licenses and contributed back to the education community. Learn more at, and visit our course catalog at

©2019 This announcement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license 

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Lumen Learning

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