The one constant in life is change. The variable is the pace of change. And lately, it seems change has accelerated.

movie theater seats and curtain
Image by Andreas Glöckner from Pixabay

The academic year has either just started, or you are preparing for it to start shortly. And while fall normally is a season of change, we are hearing about more drastic changes from our members this season, including enrollment levels, enrollment patterns across modalities, changes in modalities offered, and worries about quality education in today’s educational environment.

This post focuses on coming works that address the changes in the air. With all you are doing, you are probably too busy to read this post. BUT WAIT…don’t go away. We hope you persist as we preview the fall for WCET and let you know about an exciting new collaboration!

Coming Attractions

Most of you know of my affection for movies and I’ll be sad to miss the Telluride Film Festival this Labor Day. I do enjoy “coming attractions.” It’s fun to see the snippets of films coming to a theater (or streaming service) near you.

Although, this might not be quite as entertaining as the teaser trailers you’re used to…here is our version of what is coming your way from WCET…

WCET Annual Meeting, Part 34

“In a world”…in which Zoom sessions linger ominously around every corner, the WCET Annual Meeting, forges a new path to engage pioneers on the lonely and dangerous frontier of digital learning.

Ok. Maybe it’s not very dangerous…but this year’s Meeting will be worth your time. This year, we are reimagining in-person meetings. We are changing what we do. We might not have it right yet, but you will see changes and we hope you will help us shape what is needed for the future. We will be inviting some of you to focus groups to help us do just that by discussing WCET services and wcetMIX.

As for what will happen this year, we are trying ways to have more engagement and sharing within sessions. Come experience it with us!

Microcredentials

It’s rare to see a short film anymore, but they are often very rich experiences and are tailored to the length of the story. Similarly, I believe we are seeing a shift in student demand leaning towards credentials that are shorter and fit better fit with student needs.

The WCET Steering Committee Working Group on microcredentials started their WCET Frontiers blog post series last spring. So far they have reviewed the importance of understanding the strategic goals of microcredential projects and the value that clarity of terms plays. Those covered the “why” and “what.” Last week’s post focused on the “how” with insights on starting from the beginning.

Continuing this saga, in the coming weeks, watch for additional posts addressing implementation, and evaluation.

Work on Digital Learning Definitions

You, our members, have let us know that the way faculty use digital learning has changed. This has often resulted in less agreement on the definitions related to digital learning…or created new ones. Arrrgh! Earlier this year, the WCET Working Group on Digital Learning Definitions asked you to take a survey on your agreement with short definitions of course delivery options, such as online, hybrid, hyflex, and in-person courses.

On September 21, WCET will host a free webcast to announce the surprising results and stay tuned for short publications that address several questions about the definitions.

From the policy point of view, also watch for analysis on the many definitions that institutions are expected to use in complying with the rules of different government, accrediting, or other organizations. What hasn’t changed…they still don’t agree.

And we want to hear from students. Spoiler alert…they don’t care what you call it. They just want to know UP FRONT what is expected of them. We’re the ones who must change to meet that need.

Equity and Quality

Not to be outdone by their Steering Committee colleagues, the Equity and Quality Working Group will have a series of posts in October and November. As we expand the use of digital learning, we need to ensure that all populations not only have access (which many don’t), but can actually succeed. The notions of “quality” some into play.

The posts will focus on faculty and student views, tools for ensuring quality, and sharing advice and lessons learned.

SAN Workshop on Compliance Continuity

There is still time to register for the State Authorization Network’s virtual workshop on “Succession Planning for Compliance Continuity.” Like making a movie, those responsible for compliance work best with a well written script, continuity, and clear direction. You can learn much from this workshop, which will be held September 7th -9th.

An Exciting New Collaboration

Do you enjoy reboots of classic movies? We enjoy some of them, and we are very excited about this one.

The new Annual Summit for Women in eLearning (ASWE) is the reboot of the International Forum for Women in E-learning (IFWE) previously hosted by USDLA. We are very committed to advancing women in digital learning. The ASWE community is focused on connecting, learning, and supporting others in the field of digital learning—

  • As we lead.
  • As we learn.
  • As we lean.
  • As we live.

ASWE will rotate between an open house gathering and reception on even years and the day-and-a-half Summit in odd years, both in conjunction with WCET’s in-person Annual Meeting. This year is the open house event and a book club discussion. Come join the fun.

Have a Great Year!

WCET staff just had their annual retreat this week. I am reminded what a fantastic staff is here to serve you through WCET membership services, the State Authorization Network, and Every Learner Everywhere. They really are remarkable.

We wish you happy endings for you and your students.

Russ

Russ Poulin

Executive Director, WCET & Vice President for Technology-Enhanced Education, WICHE


303-541-0305

rpoulin@wiche.edu

@RussPoulin

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