David Wiley

The institutionalisation of Open Educational Resources

The Big Idea

David Wiley is a leading figure in the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. His fellowship idea was to help community colleges and universities in the US move away from expensive textbooks, increasing access, reducing costs, and improving outcomes for students.

Alongside this primary goal, he wanted to improve the quality of research on the impacts of OER adoption, while exploring and proving a sustainable business model to institutionalise OER. He co-founded Lumen Learning as his vehicle for driving home this change, and became a Shuttleworth Fellow in March, 2013.

Why We Funded

Highlights and outcomes:

Within his two-year fellowship, David demonstrated success across the board. He proved OER could replace expensive textbooks, bringing costs down for students, schools and colleges. He demonstrated that by using OER, students would improve their learning outcomes and be more likely to complete their courses.

Through David’s work, we have seen an expanded collective vision of what is possible in the context of openness, and watched K-12 schools, higher education institutions, faculties and learners take full advantage of its benefits. To date, David and Lumen Learning have supported hundreds of thousands of students with course materials and with estimated savings of tens of millions of dollars.

This was an important moment for the Foundation’s trajectory. Having funded many OER projects in the past and supported fellows who made significant breakthroughs, David had taken things to the next level. He continues to apply enormous pressure on the high prices of the textbook industry and enjoys success after success, while we could move on to new agendas.

David on social impacts:

“We’re working with over 200 colleges and universities in the United States, helping over 230,000 students save money on their course materials and improve their learning outcomes.

“We estimate students we served saved $23 million on textbooks in 2018. We’re aiming for $1 billion.”

Flash Grants

Michael Caulfield
Ben Wermuller
Audrey Watters
Jim Groom