Follett and Lumen Partner to Expand Reach of OER Solutions

On April 17, Follett, a provider of education technology, services and print and digital content, announced their partnership with Lumen Learning, a startup that creates digital course materials that help replace textbooks in the college setting.

Lumen Learning provides well-designed, low-cost digital course materials that help colleges and universities offer the best education to all students, regardless of socioeconomic status.

For years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and campus bookstores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run.

The partnership plans on offering Lumen Learning’s OER solutions to more than 1,200 colleges and universities that are affiliated with Follett.

Roe McFarlane, Chief Digital Officer for Follett Higher Education stated, “The addition of Lumen Learning’s content and courseware creates new possibilities for customers looking for an affordable OER solution that’s easily integrated and administered within the institution infrastructure.”

McFarlane said that Follett has received feedback from numerous colleges that use their program that faculty members are looking for affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks.

The company is making an effort to address those needs, “As higher education’s leading independent content aggregator and provider, we know digital courseware is an option that improves student engagement and leads to better outcomes.”

Through this partnership, students pay a support fee to Lumen that ranges from $10 to $25, a fraction of the cost compared to buying or renting a textbook. Lumen has previously worked by signing contracts with individual colleges and helping them begin OER initiatives on their campuses.

“With OER becoming part of mainstream college curriculum, institutions are pushing us to provide faster, more integrated ways to make this learning innovation fit easily into existing administrative and funding processes,” said Kim Thanos, CEO of Lumen Learning, in a statement.

This new partnership doesn’t only benefit Lumen Learning, a startup that employs only 28 people, but also changes how faculty provides information to their students and the wallets of those students.

Natalie Yera

Natalie Yera

Natalie Yera is in her first year of the M.A. program in publishing and writing at Emerson College. She recently returned from spending five months studying in London and a month backpacking through parts of Eastern and Western Europe. She is originally from Buffalo, New York. Follow her at @NatalieYera.