Author Archives: Russ Poulin

Director, Policy & Analysis
WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies)

House HEA Proposes Changes for Distance Ed, CBE, and State Authorization

In a new bill regarding higher education rules proposed in the House of Representatives: all federal state authorization rules are ended, competency-based education gets a boost with “regular and substantive interaction” being redefined and expanded accreditation oversight, accreditation reviews for distance education are a thing of the past, some confusion remains over distance and online […]

On the OIG/WGU Finding, Part 1: When Interaction Is Not Interaction

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report concluding: “We concluded that Western Governors University did not comply with the institutional eligibility requirement that limits the percentage of regular students who may enroll in correspondence courses. Therefore, the Department should require the school to return the $712,670,616 in Title […]

Developing Effective Courses Using Adaptive Learning Begins with Proper Alignment

Similar to the birth of eLearning in the 1990s, the rush to implement adaptive learning has led to the development of poorly designed courses that are not properly aligned and fail to effectively implement the principles of multimedia learning. As a result, many institutions often proclaim their use of adaptive learning as a failure. Much […]

Need Your Input: What Matters to You in Counting Distance Education Activities?

It is said that we count what we value. It is also said that not everything that can be counted has value. Can you help tell the difference when measuring distance education activities? The U.S. Department of Education needs your help in discerning what data it should be collecting about distance education and hybrid/blended learning. […]

Ask Congress to Address the Housing Allowance for Online Veterans in New GI Bill

Veterans taking all their college courses online are getting short-changed. As Congress moves to rework the GI Bill, let’s get them to fix this problem. We need your help. Read the background and see how to respond at the end. The GI Bill Reduces the Housing Allowance for Fully Online Students Veterans of the U.S. […]

New Digital Learning Compass Shows Distance Ed Enrollments Trending Upwards

Higher education enrollments for all students fell, but more students enrolled in distance education courses than ever before. This is one of the findings of the new “Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017” released by the new Digital Learning Compass partnership. The report uses data for the 2015 U.S. Department of Education IPEDS Fall Enrollment survey. […]

The Purdue Acquisition of Kaplan – Background, Opinion, and Questions

There was quite a bit of surprise in the higher education world yesterday when Purdue University (a large land-grant university in Indiana) announced that it was essentially acquiring Kaplan University (a large for-profit institution). Lots of questions arise. This blog post includes some facts, opinion, and questions to keep the discussion rolling. Purdue “Purchases” a […]

The Military Advances on Credentialing and Quality Reviews: Pay Attention

Military personnel and veterans are eager to learn…and most of them do so using educational technologies and distance learning. Given that the United States has been involved in two wars for more than a decade, how do they defend the country and earn a degree in their spare time? Cheryl Dowd and I attended the […]

Connecticut’s One-Stop Service Increases Enrollment and Retention

WCET has long been a champion of e-learning consortia, multi-institution efforts to partner to do more together than can be done by an individual campus. Today we feature one of them. In the past, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) has reported on its multi-campus e-tutoring program, which has been replicated elsewhere. In 2015 they […]

Education Department Confirms ‘Reciprocity’ Definition Clarification

Thank you Ted Mitchell! In his last hours as the Under Secretary of Education, Mitchell wrote a letter to Marshall Hill (Executive Director, NC-SARA) and me confirming the clarifications to state authorization regulations that Department staff made to me and I recently reported. The Department has long-supported reciprocity as a path to state authorization for […]