WOW Media Release 2013

WCET Recognizes Outstanding Works In Higher Education

For Immediate Release
October 22, 2013
Contact: Cali Morrison
Manager of Communications, WCET

Boulder, Colorado – The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) award, a competition that recognizes innovative uses of educational technologies in higher education. Since 2004, the WOW award has been presented to colleges, universities, and organizations for exceptionally creative, technology-based solutions to a significant problem or need in higher education. The WOW award helps WCET meet its mission of promoting innovative and effective practice by providing exemplary programs which can be used as models for the higher education community to adapt for their own students and faculty.

This year’s WOW awards go to three very different kinds of higher educational organizations — a public community college, a public R1 research university, and a statewide university system. While each program is unique and important, they share a common characteristic – all three address affordability, scalability, promoting shared resources, and student success.

  • Lane Community College: OER Faculty Fellowship provides support and opportunities for Lane faculty to create and use OERs in their courses and save students money by reducing textbook requirements and increasing the number of textbook free courses.
  • University of Central Florida: Obojobo a “One Stone Many Birds” Institutional Strategy for Shareable Instructional Resources.
  • University of North Carolina: The Online Proctoring Network standardizes and streamlines proctoring for instructors, students and proctors.

“As chair of the WOW Award Committee, I can attest to the highly competitive nature of this important WCET award. Clearly within the WCET community, there’s a robust level of innovation and creativity that schools are applying towards the overarching goals of quality and student success,” said Ben Zastrocky, Director, Educational Technology Center, Metropolitan State University of Denver. “While the three 2013 WOW projects are so diverse — open textbooks, a systemwide proctoring network, shareable learning resources — they have one interesting common theme – utilizing technologies to increase efficiencies in the teaching and learning process so that faculty can focus on their job #1 – teaching, assessing student progress, engaging with students.”

The WOW awardees will be recognized by WCET’s national community of higher education innovators during the WCET 25th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, November 13-15, 2013.

Lane Community College: OER Faculty Fellowship

The Open Educational Resource (OER) Faculty Fellowship at Lane Community College is a shining example of the innovative ideas that manifest when students, faculty and administrators collaborate. This program born out of a student need for textbook affordability, grew into a cost-efficient program that is replicable across higher education.

The OER Faculty Fellowship meets the needs of students and faculty alike; and contributes directly to scholarly inquiry and rigorous exploration of open, higher education. The College has made a minor annual investment over the past few years that – as of today – saves students $326,400 per year in textbook costs. Additionally, the program has a plan to recruit more faculty each year, extending the benefit to the college and the students.

Jen Klaudinyi
Reference/Instruction Librarian and Faculty Technology Specialist
Lane Community College
OER blog

University of Central Florida: Obojobo

Obojobo provides a platform for the collaborative design, sharing, and distribution of instructional components in a variety of academic areas including, but not limited to, information literacy, academic integrity, experiential learning, and tutoring. It provides a concerted systemic solution as opposed to stand alone modules or tutorials. Obojobo, which gained its unique palindrome name by virtue of trademark-ability, grew out of a conversation about the concept of learning objects to become this sophisticated system.

Obojobo has allowed key departments, such as the Library and Student Development and Enrollment Services, to create and share learning resources for which faculty can incorporate into their courses. The system also collects valuable data related to student performance for rich feedback on their learning. Obojobo has also allowed University of Central Florida to provide different self-paced faculty development programs as well as further enhance their nationally recognized faculty development offering.

Thomas Cavanagh
Associate Vice President, Distributed Learning
University of Central Florida

University of North Carolina: The Online Proctoring Network

The University of North Carolina’s Exam Proctoring Network promotes academic integrity by providing standardizing and streamlining the proctoring process for students, faculty and proctors. The University of North Carolina network is the only “one-stop” proctoring solution across a state-wide system. The secure system allows students, faculty, and proctors to schedule appointments, securely transfer documents and receive automated reminders when an action is required. In fall 2012, the more than 2,200 surveys implemented indicate that students are about 93% satisfied overall with the network. The system is in use at six campuses, and three of the remaining campuses will go live in the fall of 2013. University of North Carolina shares news about their WOW award.

Margaret T. O’Hara
Director of E-Learning
University of North Carolina


The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is a cooperative, membership-driven, non-profit provider of solutions and services that accelerate the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education.

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