What is MyOpenMath?
MyOpenMath runs on the open source, IMathAS platform, providing free hosted use of this platform in support of free, open textbooks like the ones listed on OpenTextBookStore.com. The intent is to provide classroom use of the platform, without any required cost to students, for schools wanting a managed install of the IMathAS platform, and to provide students self-study opportunities.
Community-based support is available through open support forums and training videos.
More comprehensive support services are available for MyOpenMath through Lumen Learning. These services include faculty training, online and phone support for faculty, content and learning analytics, data-driven recommendations for improving content, learning content improvements, service level agreements and backups, and long-term access to course data. The Candela support packages typically cost less than 3% of what students currently pay for commercial products (yes, we mean 97% less).
How/Why is it Free? Our Story
It is always concerning when you visit a website that offers a free service. What's the catch? Are you going to be advertised to? Get forced to pay for service in a year? To address those concerns, here is a bit of info about MyOpenMath's history and business model.
MyOpenMath was born out of free, open source software developed by David Lippman, a community college math professor in Washington State, starting in 2005. With a little grant support and a lot of his free time, David ran a state-wide installation of that software at wamap.org. Faculty from around the state got involved, and collaboratively contributed much of the question content now found on MyOpenMath. Out of the Open Course Library project in Washington, several complete courses based on open textbooks were created. Other folks got involved, including James Sousa from Phoenix College who contributed a huge collection of questions tied to his video examples.
In 2011 David started MyOpenMath as a way to share with the world this software system and all the great content that had been built around open textbooks. He self-funded the site for the first year, then joined forces with Lumen Learning, who had been using MyOpenMath with the Kaleidoscope Project. Lumen now hosts the MyOpenMath site, and leads continued content development, with plans to provide the full arithmetic-through-calculus sequence in MyOpenMath using open textbooks.
David and Lumen both feel very strongly that a free and open version of MyOpenMath should always exist, without advertisements. They are also committed that all the content remain open as well, so it could be moved to a local install of the IMathAS software if desired or needed. To accomplish this, they are adopting a "freemium" model, where the basic service will remain free with community-based support for faculty, but additional services are available to institutions for a fee. Those services include instructor support, content support, and administrative services. Students will never be directly charged, as ensuring student access to high quality materials is our number one priority.
While Lumen Learning now funds MyOpenMath, the development of IMathAS and the content has been supported by several grant projects as well as the time, effort, feedback, suggestions, and dedication of its users. Grants from the Washington State eLearning Council and the Transition Math Project helped develop the platform and create a large set of content.
Courses developed for the Washington State Open Course Library project are a basis for many of the open courses found on MyOpenMath. Others were contributed by faculty, including James Sousa from Phoenix Community College. Many of these courses were improved by contributions and feedback from faculty involved in the Kaleidoscope Project.