“…consider your local situation when adopting OER and don’t invent problems that don’t exist, think through where there are actual gaps that need to be filled…”

Karen Forgette, Core Instructor, Department of Writing & Rhetoric, University of Mississippi


Faculty Roundtable Sessions bring together faculty who are already using Lumen-supported OER courses with those who are exploring this path. On Wednesday, October 25th, 2017, an innovative team of faculty members from the University of Mississippi shared their experiences teaching Writing 101 using Waymaker English Composition. Hear from Guy Krueger, Karen Forgette, and Andrew Davis about how they’re using OER to provide writing course curriculum customized to fit their students’ needs. You may:

  • View a video recording of the Faculty Roundtable
  • Download presentation slides
  • Read key takeaways from our discussion
  • Request more information about this OER course

View Roundtable Recording

Download Slides

Use this Slideshare link to download Roundtable slides.

Highlights and Key Takeaways

See the Q&A below for key takeaways from Guy, Karen, and Andrew’s roundtable conversation:

Q. As you were looking to transition to OER, what drew you to Lumen’s Waymaker courseware, and what problems were you trying to address?

University of Mississippi, like all universities, has a unique local situation, and so creating something that was really made for specific students and teachers was a priority. The flexibility and adaptability of OER content was a way to address the needs of the local, educational community without the barriers of copyrighted or license-heavy textbook materials.

Waymaker’s overall approach to adaptive learning was attractive because it took a minimalist approach and what it did well, it did really well. It just doesn’t overburden you with unnecessary data and technological hurdles.

Q. How did setting up the course and working with Lumen go?

The goal of setting up the Writing courses at Ole Miss was to “level-out” the playing field for students and bridge the gap between students who are coming into a course well-prepared and  underprepared. This means incorporating content that is essential to both groups of students. The beauty of working with Lumen’s tools compared to using a traditional textbook is that many exercises are embedded into short readings: so students are able to practice the concepts as they are reading through them.

Q. How is this [Waymaker] compared to what you have used previously and how are your students responding?

The experience using Waymaker has been very positive [anecdotally], and provides faculty and students with information that they need to stay well-informed in their courses. In the past, it wasn’t possible for students to access all materials within one LMS, and now that they are able to do so, it makes the learning process more streamlined.

Q. Do you have any advice for faculty who are considering adopting OER materials?

Take time to consider your local situation when adopting OER and don’t invent problems that don’t exist. Think through where there are actual gaps that need to be filled. It’s helpful to talk with faculty members outside of your own discipline to see how what they are doing with OER might or might not fit into what you would like to achieve with adaptive learning. Finally, getting faculty and students together to identify trouble spots and ensuring that whomever you are partnering with understands your needs, will guide you in the right direction. For us, we’ve had a lot of great support from the people at Lumen.