WCET Research

tablet with charts on it

WCET Research aims to shed light on topics that support the operation, instruction and technology implementation of technology-enhanced higher education.

Research Review: Educational Technologies and Their Impact on Student Success for Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups - from DETA and WCET

With nearly half a million fewer students attending college than in fall 2019, there are clearly barriers to student success – many of which disproportionately affect racialized students.

Sizeable shifts in learning due to the pandemic led WCET and DETA to partner on research that explores inequities in higher ed and identifies key educational practices and technology that can positively influence minority student success.

WCET and SAN members are invited to a member-only webcast on Thursday, May 20 at 1:00 PM MDT to discuss the lessons learned in this review and the hopes for additional research needed to better guide institutional leaders in improving their practices.

A Survey of Multi-Institution Consortia and System Leaders - 2018

WCET’s Consortia Group determined that it was time to conduct another survey to benchmark the current and future state of consortia and system (i.e., the unit of a public system responsibility for these activities) work. There is huge variation in how institutions partner and support joint efforts to advance, support, and improve technology-mediated education. Respondents represented consortia and systems of all types from the United States and Canada. Thank you to Wiley Education Services for their support in conducting this survey.

Tracking Online Learning in Canadian Universities and Colleges

Only since Canada has begun tracking activity in online learning, blended learning, distance education, and OER in Canadian postsecondary education. WCET has provided support and advice in developing the instrument, continuing the analysis, and comparisons with similar surveys in the U.S.

Questions You Should Ask When Choosing an Online Program

Are you considering enrolling in an online program? There are several elements to consider when selecting the right program for you.

Berkeley College, NC-SARA, OLC, Quality Matters, and WCET formulated a set of questions to help students navigate their online education options and determine the environment that best suits their preferences, education goals, and work/life balance.

IPEDS Outcome Measures

The new Department of Education Outcome Measures provides more robust information on the ultimate fate of higher education students. The only previous statistic was the IPEDS Graduation Rate, which focused solely on student who entered the institution as both first-time and full-time students. The new Outcome Measures (OM) adds counts for both part-time and transfer-in students. In 2018, WCET partnered with the WICHE Policy and Research unit in analyzing the first release of this data, including: WICHE report on OM in WICHE states, WCET overall analysis of the importance of OM, WCET analysis of non-traditional institutions and OM, and WCET sample analysis of Colorado public institutions and OM. 

Price and Cost of Distance Education 2017

In talking to legislators, administrators, faculty, students, and the public in general, WCET identified a need to better understand the economics of distance education courses. What do we charge students (the “price”)? How much does the institution spend to create the course (the “cost”)? To that end, WCET conducted a survey with colleges and university leaders regarding the price and cost of distance courses. Our results, findings, opinions, and comments are available in the WCET Price and Cost Report.

WCET Distance Education Enrollment Report

Based on data accumulated by the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) surveys from the Fall of 2014, the WCET Distance Education Enrollment Report highlights differences by sector, graduate vs. undergraduate study, student location, and by the number of institutions educating students at a distance. Our aim is to enlighten readers about the current state of the industry through graphs, data tables, observations, and commentary based on our insights.

Recruiting, Orienting, & Supporting Online Adjunct Faculty: A Survey of Practices 2015

In partnership with The Learning House, Inc. WCET surveyed more than 200 deans, directors, and provosts at two- and four-year higher education institutions about the hiring, expectations, policies, and support of adjunct and part-time faculty members for online courses. 

Busting the Myth: Distance Education Enrollment

WCET has produced an infographic utilizing the 2013 Fall IPEDS Enrollment numbers. This quick overview shows distance education enrollment patterns might not be what popular opinion thinks they are. We encourage you to share this with your networks!

Check out the Frontiers blog for a deeper discussion of these data.

Managing Online Education Surveys

The Managing Online Education series of surveys obtains data on the instructional, operational, and technology infrastructure of online operations in higher education. The Managing Online Education surveys are now conducted as a partnership of WCETeCampusAlbertaBCcampus, and Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium

"What are Institutions Doing (or Not Doing) About State Authorization" Survey

College personnel often ask us about the status of compliance with state authorization regulations among their peer colleges. Since 2011, these surveys have sought input on institutional progress in obtaining authorization in all the states in which the colleges serve students. Additional questions about costs, compliance personnel, staying out of states, compliance strategies, and notification of students have also been asked.

The Funding of Academic Collaborations

To leverage expertise and efficiencies in implementing educational technologies, higher education leaders often create centralized service organizations or interinstitutional partnerships. Defined as “academic collaborations,” these organizations foster interinstitutional partnerships that share resources to increase institutional capacity for, sharing of, and access to technology-mediated courses and programs. This paper surveyed academic collaborations to gain insight on effective models used to finance their activities. By Demaree Michelau and Russ Poulin, August 2008. 

Contact Russ Poulin if you have any questions, suggestions, or proposals about WCET Research.