Community-engaged Courseware for STEM Success

High failure rates in gatekeeping STEM courses continue to plague two-year institutions, creating barriers for learners and contributing to equity gaps that persist throughout and beyond post-secondary education. Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI) has demonstrated success in addressing this challenge, with open, adaptive courseware, developed and improved using a learning engineering approach that improves outcomes while reducing cost for gateway STEM courses. While expanding the adoption of OLI courseware offers one approach to scale this success, evidence suggests that engaging a larger population of educators and students in the process of data-driven customization, improvement, and expansion of the courseware can act as a multiplier, better-situating courseware in the local context and connecting with learners’ prior knowledge.

The project draws on the efforts of the Community Sourced-Data Driven Improvements to Open, Adaptive Courseware project, and expands the effective use of OLI courseware through data-driven customization; educator and student contributions to the courseware leave materials better aligned with local needs in the SUNY and Maryland school system.