Dispatch from Denver – Thursday

Hello from the WCET Annual Conference –

We are having fun with our friends here in Denver and wanted to share with you some of the thoughts, comments, and things we have learned thus far…

On Monday we had record high temperatures followed by 8 inches of snow on Wednesday, which prompted the comment:  “Two feet of snow can’t stop the learning force that is WCET.”

Resources from the opening keynote by Jeff Borden, Pearson eCollege, and Mark Sarver, EduKan:

  • Bloom’s technology pyramid: bit.ly/cmGAut Bloom’s technology pyramid
  • “All My Faves”…favorite websites for education:  bit.ly/aD56kb
  • Forgetting stuff?  Here is a retention aid to help you remember stuff: headmagnet.com

Regarding academic honesty…we need to clarify our expectations.  The goal should be to support learning, not to punish the student.

If students are going to cheat, they will find a way.  Whether it is the files of old tests in fraternity basements or Google searches, it is just a different modality.

There are many reasons for cheating, including valuing grades over learning

In a session on analytics, an observation on interpreting data: “Just because a finding is significant, does not mean it is meaningful.”

@theludologist: the #wcet11 app is pretty slick, even has twitter integration, well played > THANKS!

WCET2011 Thursday Reception
Mixing and Mingling at the WCET Reception Thursday evening

Barbara Beno, Western Association of State Colleges, noted that accrediting agencies are concerned about third-party content providers.  How will institutions verify instructional quality and program integrity?  Will we need to accredit these third-party providers in the future? This is an example of only one area in which there is a need for cross-agency accreditation guidelines. ACCJC includes WCET best practices in WASC accreditation guidelines.

Pat O’Brien, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, had a variation on a quote from the old comic strip Pogo: “We have me

t the accreditors and they is us.”

Karen Solomon, Higher Learning Commission, describe a partnership that her agency has with a few institution to pilot learning outcomes work based upon

the Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile.  She noted that institutions that are experienced with online learning have a better handle on what students are learning then those that are primarily face-to-face.

From an audience member in the session High Quality Online Institutions that Scale: “We need to scale our aspirations.”

Why can’t we have a baccalaureate institution that uses the Rio Salado model?  It would have mostly adjunct faculty, serve 35,000 students, and cost the student about $5,000 per year.  That question prompted intense discussion.

Overheard in the hallway: WCET is a million times better than any conference I’ve ever been to!

If you weren’t able to join us in Denver this year, follow the backchannel on Twitter via @wcet_info and our conference hashtag #wcet11 & go ahead and put in your travel request for San Antonio next year!

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