Monday, January 30, 2012

Legislative News (WA State Higher Ed-related legislation)

Keep up with news and happenings related to Washington’s community and technical colleges during the 2012 session with SBCTC Legislative News.

If you see last week’s edition, refresh your browser [F5].

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ACE Model and Diego Novarro

From Diego Novarro, Founder, Director, and Instructor of  the Academy for College Excellence (ACE):

ACE has gained extensive experience and developed strategies that can help community colleges identify the ways that they currently work with vulnerable students, assess their existing approaches, and support changes to increase effectiveness with these students. To learn more about our latest strategies, click here.

Watch the brief video ACE: An Introduction
Diego will be conducting a new series of free webinars click here for more information.

Call for Proposals: Deadline February 1

Mark your calendars!
May 2-4, 2012
Vancouver, Washington

Conference tracks will include: 

·         The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

·         Institutional Assessment Informing Practice

·         eLearning and Instructional Technologies

·         College Readiness / Developmental Education

·         Students’ Experiences of Learning (must include student presenters)

·         Educating Global Citizens in a Diverse World

Deadline for submissions is: February 1.

Hope to see you in Vancouver!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Transforming Lives

Have a box of tissues handy when you read these stories of college students who have overcome a wide range of barriers to reach their goals of education, careers and empowerment.

You will cry. And, you will be proud of the work we all do every day in maintaining an open door policy and meeting students where they are in their academic and personal journeys when they walk through the doors of our community and technical colleges.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Steve Jobs, Visionaries, and Education

Excerpt from What Would Steve Jobs Do?: How the Steve Jobs Way Can Inspire Anyone to Think Differently and Win by Peter Sander (McGraw Hill

Visionaries can apply or “cross” existing concepts or technologies across new platforms. The modern “big-box” retail format was crossed with the traditional lumberyard to come up with Home Depot, and was crossed with the used-car business to create CarMax. The love of coffee and an Italian ambience were crossed with the decline of alcohol and the corner bar to create the Starbucks coffee vision. The iPad could be loosely described as a cross between a PC and an iPhone. Read more...

What are the existing concepts or technologies that could mash up to transform education?

Assessment - Whatcom Community College

Check out what the Whatcom Community College outcomes assessment committee has been working on in the areas of core learning abilities, program outcomes and course outcome links - all on the Whatcom assessment page:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Do Online Lectures Suck?

“Online lectures suck. Sure, they’re great for rainy days or people learning at a distance or people that don’t go to Stanford..." says Ben Rudolph, a junior at Stanford University.

Read on for an exerpt from:

Debating the ‘Flipped Classroom’ at Stanford

January 5, 2012, 12:35 pm
Stanford University got lots of attention for inviting the public to participate in a series of free online computer-science classes. One thing that’s drawn less notice is how some of the technologies that help facilitate those mega-classes are changing the experience for Stanford students learning the same subjects. Now a Stanford student is provoking a debate on those innovations, with a blog post critiquing the rigor and format of the “flipped classroom” teaching method deployed in his machine-learning course.
In one version of that course offered to Stanford students, the traditional teaching format was inverted, with lectures presented through online videos and optional once-a-week class meetings devoted to problem solving with the professor.

Now, wait just a minute! "Optional" once-a-week class meetings? If there's one thing we know about students (and ourselves) we seldom do "optional." 

From the comments on the same article:
Robert Talbert says, "The inverted classroom model switches the contexts of information transfer and assimilation from the traditional model. Transfer takes place outside of class (often through online video) and assimilation inside of class. The operative word here is "AND". The inverted classroom is predicated on having a robust, active classroom environment where students work on challenging problems aimed at making sense of the information they've seen, under the active guidance of an expert learner...."

And, terisosa states, "Like the others, I agree that the richness of the "flipped" approach lies in giving students class time to build and expand upon the more dry factual information in lectures. Ideally, the classroom becomes an exciting laboratory of brainstorming , experimentation, application of lecture material and peer interaction."

Read the full article, if you choose, but be sure to scroll down to the comments for the really good stuff...   

Faculty Speak in Favor of Open Resources

More on the Open Course Library from Shoreline faculty:

“The idea of using the OCL is really twofold,” Director of eLearning Ann Garnsey-Harter said. “Students can afford to purchase the textbooks and other class materials required for all courses and faculty will find high quality course materials readily available.”
Philosophy Prof. Paul Herrick is one of three Shoreline instructors who developed courses and accompanying materials for the OCL. He says that the wealth of available resources provided by the OCL classes is something instructors might want to consider.

Legislative News for Washington Higher Education

From the SBCTC Legislative News:

The latest chapter of the Open Course Library

At Tuesday’s Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee work session, chair Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, called the Open Course Library (OCL) “a phenomenal program” and a joint Legislative and college effort “to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to make education affordable to students.”

Funded by $750,000 from the Legislature and $1.6 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Open Course Library is working with community and technical college faculty to develop open materials for 81 of the most common courses so that students pay $30 or less for their course materials.

The first 42 courses were released on October 31, 2011. In the first two months, the Open Course Library received over 80 press mentions, and the web site has received over 20,000 hits. Another 39 courses will be released spring 2013. The OCL project is part of the SBCTC’s broader effort to provide free or lower-cost materials to students.

David Nelson, Green River Community College math department chair, said his math department compared the OCL calculus materials with commercial publisher materials and are now using the OCL materials. Students can access those materials online for free or buy an OCL textbook for $20. The OCL materials replace a book that would otherwise cost $140. Nelson reported that students appreciate using less expensive materials. They can download and print only the content they need in an inexpensive format. Since they don’t need to preserve their textbook for resale, students are more likely to make notes in the materials.

For more information on the Open Course Library, including content of the first 42 courses:

To watch the hearing on TVW, start at 2:00 on the timeline.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Apple is expected to make an announcement on January 19th that they will be "hiring prominent textbook writers to create electronic versions of them for the iPad." In the recent biography of Steve Jobs, Mr. Jobs is quoted as stating "that he believed Apple could get around state certification processes for textbooks by making them free."
Read the full New York Times article...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Open Online Math Homework System

CCCOER January Webinar: Open Online Math Homework with Open Textbooks

January 31, 2012 from 10am to 11:30pm
Come join us for the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources January Webinar with David Lippman, Math professor from Pierce College and James Sousa, Math Professor from Phoenix Community College, on the open online math homework system ( that David and other community college faculty have developed for faculty and students to use with open textbooks.For math teachers, a free and open textbook is great, but they can be hard to find, and hard to adopt…See More

Leading from the Classroom: Accelerating adoption of instructional technology and open resources

Open textbooks, open classes, open resources...with so many options and so many places to search for gems to use in our classrooms, the task of selecting those resources that are most relevant to your discipline and your students can seem daunting. The faculty who developed courses for the Washington State Open Course Library did much of this work for you - if you teach one of the 42 courses developed in Phase I (details and list of courses). Phase II will kick off next month and will result in the development of an additional 39 courses.

Still, how do you develop the skills of searching and sorting and selecting the best resources for your courses? We've created a day-long workshop to give you the tools for succes and an opportunity to practice these skills with assistance from tech-savvy faculty from across Washington State.

If you are a Washington State faculty member, please consider registering for a Leading from the Classroom workshop.

Leading from the Classroom:
Accelerating adoption of instructional technology and open resources

No registration fee – sponsored by TACTC and WACTC

Faculty from our community and technical colleges will lead these full-day, hands-on, face-to-face workshops

Each workshop will include:

·       Short demonstrations of teaching technology

·       Hands-on guided practice with new tech tools

·       Short introduction to open resource repositories

·       Hands-on guided practice locating and saving

            resources relevant to the courses you teach

 You will leave the workshop with new skills, new tools for teaching, and a new collection of resources to use in your online/hybrid/face-to-face classroom

  Tuesday, February 7th
Lake Washington Institute of Technology

 Friday, March 16
South Puget Sound Community College

Friday, March 23
Spokane Community College

(Each workshop is a repeat; please register for just one.)
From the World Future Society newsletter:

Our memories give birth to our expectations of the future; but what gives birth to memory? A group of MIT scientists led by Yingxi Lin claim to have discovered a master gene for memory encoding. The Npas4 gene is responsible for activating the genes that make memories stronger and more permanent (both synapse strength and connections between neurons). “This is a gene that can connect from experience to the eventual changing of the circuit,” says Lin.

The team found that Npas4 is heavily present in the CA3 region of the hippocampus in mice when they wandered to a part of a maze where they received a mild electric shock. The gene helped them remember to avoid that area. When the researchers removed the gene from that area of the hippocampus, the mice forgot which part of the maze was dangerous.

The ability to produce Npas4 in sufficient volume may have an effect on the study of learning and education in the future.

Source: MIT

Scholarship Available for Kellogg Institute (Dev Ed Faculty)

Two scholarships are available for the 2012 Kellogg Institute.

In a message received from Chareane Wimbley-Gouveia (Northwest Association for Developmental Education contact), she states:

"The Kellogg Institute for the Training and Certification of Developmental Educators is the nation's premier professional development experiences for full time and adjunct faculty who work with underprepared students." 

From the press release:

McGraw-Hill is proud to partner with The Kellogg Institute to provide the opportunity for two

innovative developmental educators to attend the 2012 Summer Institute (June 30-July 27,

2012) in Boone, NC. The first scholarship will be awarded to an adjunct instructor who has

demonstrated a commitment to the scholarship and best practices of developmental education.

Applicants will need to complete the accompanying forms and a 1-3 three page letter describing

how receiving the scholarship and attending the Kellogg Institute will improve the quality of

developmental education practices on his or her campus.

The second scholarship will be awarded to a full time faculty member who has demonstrated

leadership through successful participation in institution, state, or national committees, projects,

or other activities advancing the field of developmental education or learning assistance.

Preference will be given to the applicant who has made use of s technology for the purposes of

diagnosis, assessment (of students or program), remediation, or addressing other student

services need (i.e.: early alert, advising, tutoring).

The scholarships will include tuition to the Institute, room and board, and travel expenses. The

McGraw-Hill Developmental Educator Scholarship will be awarded by Hunter Boylan, Director of

the National Center for Development Education and Beth Mejia, Executive Director of

Developmental Education at McGraw-Hill, at the 2012 NADE conference during the Awards


For further details and application instructions, see
Or contact:
Kellogg Institute
National Center for Developmental Education
ASU Box 32098, Boone, NC 28608
Phone (828) 262-3057

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Governor Gregoire's State of the State Address

Gov. Chris Gregoire will deliver her State of the State address at 10:15 a.m. in a joint session. If you want to tune in, the address will be broadcast live on TVW.

You can also watch the recording at a later date. Just search the TVW archives to find this or other videos.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's On the Radar for Campus Technology in 2012?

Take a look at this article in Campus Technology:

Here’s the list of 5 Higher Ed Tech Trends for 2012 Campus Technology folks:
1. E-Textbooks
2. Open Resources (+1 for nice mention of our own WA State Open Course Library here)
3. The Online Classroom
4. Mobile Devices
5. Campuses Move to the Cloud

Are your IT folks, eLearning folks and faculty discussing these topics and planning together? If so, perhaps we can move away from the isolated islands of innovation and into systemic changes that help all students across the campus...and across the system.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Open Course Library on KUOW

Here's the link to the KUOW interview that aired Friday: (jump to the end of this clip time code 13:15). It's only about 2 minutes long, but it mentions Rep. Reuven Carlyle's new legislation that builds on the Open Course Library.

Legislative News

The 2012 legislative session begins on Monday.

Keep up with news and happenings related to Washington’s community and technical colleges during session with SBCTC Legislative News.

If you see last week’s edition, refresh your browser [F5].

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Digital-only Interactive Texts as low as $49

Imagine being able to change the parameters of a math equation, a science experiment, a sociology problem and see the results unfold before your eyes, in real time. Imagine interacting with your "textbook" in a way that brings learning to life. Now, imagine that the cost of this textbook is signicantly LESS than the cost of traditional, printed textbooks...which would you choose?

From the New York Times:
Making Science Leap From the Page
Published: December 17, 2011

WHEN a college textbook, “Principles of Biology,” comes out from the Nature Publishing Group in January, one place it won’t be is on the shelves of school bookstores.

...the book was designed to be digital-only. Students will pay not for a printed edition at a bookstore, but for permanent access on the Internet ($49)...

“We want to take advantage of the things only digital media can do, and that are superior to print, to broaden the ways students learn science,” said Vikram Savkar, senior vice president and publishing director at Nature Publishing. “We want students to measure a chapter not by how much they read, but by how much they learn.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

eBooks and Community Colleges - live radio

Rep. Reuven Carlyle has been invited to do a KUOW radio interview on eBooks and community colleges tomorrow at noon. It's a show called "The Conversation with Ross Reynolds." It's expected that the Open Course Library will be discussed during the show.

Here's the link if you want to listen at lunch:
And here's the news item they referenced:

(sent to me by Tom Caswell, SBCTC Policy Associate for Open Education)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2010-11 Annual Report

During the 2010-11 academic year, Washington State community and technical colleges served a record number of students - nearly half a million people!

Teachers as Storytellers

Conversations with Great Teachers. Sounds interesting, though I have to admit, I haven't yet read the book, so I can't give a recommendation.

The short blurb about this book, along with the link to a video of the author, got me thinking about Phil Venditti and Sally Gove's work "Good Stories for Good Learning."

From their website:
One day in 2004, Phil was telling a class at Clover Park Technical College about a communication concept. When he brought in a story from his own life which illustrated it, he noticed something: everyone in the classroom was paying attention. "What's going on here?" he asked himself. "Is my story really that wonderful?" Probably it wasn't, but this question led to more and more: "Do I use stories a lot in my teaching?" "Could I connect specific stories with specific ideas I want students to grasp?" "Does it matter if I tell a story about myself or about somebody else?" and so on... Read More

Campus Safety and Security - Clery Act

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a 2-day training on the Clery Act, presented by S. Daniel Carter of Security on Campus. SOC was founded by the parents of Jeanne Clery, the woman for whom the Clery Act was named. Excellent presentation and activities. If you are responsible for campus safety and security, you will want to check out the Security on Campus website and, if possible, attend the next available Clery Act training.

Gearing up for the 2012 ATL Conference

Time to get those proposals in if you're interested in presenting at the 2012 Assessment Teaching and Learning Conference! The deadline is February 1.

This year's conference will be held on May 2-4, in Vancouver, WA.

Methods of Assessing Prior Learning

Walter Hudsick created a voiceover PPT slide show with excellent examples of the most common methods of assessing prior learning. It's about 20 minutes long, and is posted on the Washington State prior learning workgroup wiki. Well worth watching and sharing with others.

Faculty Focus newsletter

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Debbie Crumb,Librarian, from Renton Technical College just sent this our way:

The January 2012 issue of RTC’s Faculty Focus newsletter which focuses on the topics of cooperative learning and peer instruction is now available.

In the next few months, the Faculty Focus newsletters will feature info about assessment (including testing andgrading) and classroom management.

Under the Faculty Focus heading, click on current issue as either a PDF file or a Word document. Links to back issues of Faculty Focus and Educational Media can also be found via the