Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nation's First STEM Governor?

New governor needs to be the nation’s first STEM education governor

The next governor of Washington will have a unique opportunity to remake our state’s education system, and with it, the futures of generations of young Washingtonians. Whether Republican Rob McKenna or Democrat Jay Inslee wins next month, the new governor must lead the way in preparing our students for bright futures and good jobs by focusing on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Washington ranks No. 1 in the concentration of STEM jobs in the U.S.

The Olympian, October 30, 2012

WCET Session Recordings Available

Thanks to Sonic Foundry, the general session presentations from the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies WCET Annual Meeting will be available for viewing immediately following the live presentation.
WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) accelerates the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education.

View the link to access the following presentations upon their conclusion (times below are estimated CDT time that the recording will be available online):

Available: Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

Available: Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 1:30 PM

Available: Friday, November 2, 2012 @ 9:30 AM

Available: Friday, November 2, 2012 @ 2:00 PM

Available: Friday, November 2, 2012 @ 5:00 PM

Available: Saturday, November 3, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

Save the date for the 25th Annual Meeting in Denver, November 13-16, 2013.

GED in Washington To Go Online

GED® Test Centers in Washington will transition to computer-based testing (CBT) in 2013 in order to offer the new series of GED® Tests beginning in January 2014.   

 All test centers will go through a preparation phase and implementation phase to transition from paper-based testing to CBT, starting with Clark College and Centralia College on October 30, and Central Washington University the next day.

 For questions, contact your local GED® Testing center or the GED State Administrator at


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 Steps to Resolve Your Grade Dispute

Ellen Bremen, Highline Community College, in USA Today:

What will you do if you feel like a professor has done you wrong over a grade?

As a tenured faculty member and author of a student-professor communication blog with grade disputes as the number-one write-in question, I’ve found that most students want to a) go for the prof’s jugular or b) go all “Better Call Saul” (Breaking Bad, anyone?) and practically threaten legal action.

Read the full article...

Campus Emergency Preparedness Video

Here’s a nice example of a resource created for use within a campus community:

 If you have questions, contact Marilyn Westlake,

Assessment-related Conferences

Sent to me by Ann Fillmore, Clark College:

You told me to pass along any info regarding Assessment trainings/conferences/webinars if I found them. Well, I hit the jackpot. I hope you can pass this along :)

Invitation to Part-time/Adjunct Faculty

An open invitation to join a Faculty Learning Community, specifically designed for part-time/adjunct faculty who teach for any of the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges:

I’d like to invite you to participate in the state-wide Part-Time Faculty Learning Community that will begin the first full week of November and extend throughout the academic year.

Sign up for this FREE ongoing professional development opportunity to connect with other part-time and adjunct faculty across WA State community and technical colleges.  Over the 2012-2013 academic year we’ll explore a series of modules focused on teaching and learning.  Each monthly module includes self-paced readings and videos, online discussion questions, and online webinars to connect you with other colleagues.

Monthly topics are based on the Getting Results course and include:

·         November - Creating a community of learners

·         December - Planning for outcomes

·         January - Assessing teaching and learning

·         February - Active teaching and learning

·         March - Moving beyond the classroom

·         April - Teaching with technology

Share your experience and learn from others!  Sign up for the Part-Time Faculty Learning Community here:

This initiative is hosted by Pierce College and open to all part-time faculty across the system.  If you have any questions, please contact Emily Wood at

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

U.W. Will Work With Coursera

Grantees Focused on Breakthrough Models for College Completion are developing new models for online and blended programs that significantly improve postsecondary access, persistence, completion, and affordability, without compromising the quality of learning outcomes. Applicants were eligible for awards up to $1 million.

 University of Washington (Seattle, WA; $884,000): UW will provide a transformational online undergraduate degree-completion program at a lower cost for Americans who have earned some college credits and want to complete a baccalaureate degree, initially in humanities and social sciences, but need an online format due to other life commitments. The UW will use MOOCs to deliver the courses.

Program Name: University of Washington Online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program
Targeted Degree Program: Interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree
Opening Date: Fall 2013
First-Year Enrollment: 1,000
Anticipated Students Served in First Five Years: 13,488
Tuition Model: Credit hours at reduced rate of $155/credit for this program
Geographies Served: US students, with primary emphasis on the state of Washington
Targeted Students: Working young adults with some college credits who are returning to school

Like other traditional research universities, the University of Washington has historically served first-time full-time undergraduates and graduate students as core constituencies. In this Next Generation Learning Challenges program, they are breaking out of that mold to offer an opportunity to working adults with some college credit who need an undergraduate degree to advance their careers. Their numbers are substantial: nearly six million people in the western states have at least one year of college but lack a degree, and many of them also lack the resources to pay tuition at the usual rates, the time to travel to campus to attend classes, or both.

UW’s program is being designed expressly to serve the needs of this target population. The specific degrees offered are being selected based on those likely to have the greatest economic impact. The degrees will be offered at a reduced cost - approximately half the per-credit-hour cost of most competitive programs - with free versions of the courses offered on Coursera, a commercial platform on which universities offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are available to anyone worldwide. The course will expand access to resources and learning and will also give students the opportunity to sample a course before enrolling. The credit-bearing versions of the courses, offered in Moodle, will be instructor-led and will have additional assignments, projects, papers and readings which will augment the materials on Coursera.

Since the program targets students who have some college credit already, it will focus on upper-level courses. Fulltime faculty will design and teach these courses, ensuring their depth and quality. The courses will be designed around learning outcomes, and these outcomes will be described at the beginning of each lesson to inform students explicitly of the required concepts to master and skills to develop.

Faculty who teach in the program will receive comprehensive training in online instruction to ensure their thorough familiarity with those practices which encourage retention and course completion. In addition, specialized online advisors/coaches will work with students, checking in with them at least every other week in regard to their progress in current courses and suggesting strategies for completion. Struggling students will receive particular attention.

Application Deck: This video offers a snapshot of this grantee’s breakthrough model in its early planning stages outlining the goals, learning environments, and business model. It was originally created as a narrated PowerPoint deck included in their application to the NGLC Breakthrough Models grant competition.

Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. This multi-year program provides investment capital to expand the use of proven and emerging learning technologies, collects and shares evidence of what works, and fosters innovation and adoption of solutions which will dramatically improve the quality of learning in the United States, particularly for low-income students and students of color. NGLC is managed by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Funding for Wave III was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (

Innovation at the University of Washington

Ignite! Sessions are a fast-moving and fun way to learn how select technologies and pedagogical strategies are improving student learning at the UW. Topics of discussion to include: Canvas, ALEKS, Tegrity, eTexts, SpaceScout, Team-Based Learning, and more. There were close to 100 people in the audience at our January Ignite! Event. The Ignite! style of presentation really makes for quite the fun and engaging event.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Reading Apprenticeship

Reading Apprenticeship® Online for Community College Instructors

Who Should Participate

This 30-hour, 6-week online learning experience is geared toward currently practicing community college instructors from across the disciplines and is appropriate for instructors focusing on any subject area or level. There are no prerequisites for enrollment.

Key Ideas

Reading Apprenticeship professional development helps instructors to understand the ways in which they, as disciplinary experts, can "apprentice" students into proficient academic reading in their subject area. This course will teach instructors:

  • how to think beyond their "expert blind spot" to uncover the strategies they bring to disciplinary reading tasks in order to scaffold these strategies for students
  • how to introduce and sustain metacognitive conversation in their classes
  • how to recognize and work with students' strengths as readers
  • how to bring an inquiry lens to their own instructional practices.

Classroom tryouts and debriefs of key routines are integral to the course, providing instructors with concrete practice and close feedback.

How Students Benefit

Based on data and observations collected from over 200 community college instructors over the past five years, Reading Apprenticeship has been seen to have the following impact on student success:

Sign up for an online course to begin in January of 2013. For more information contact Michele Lesmeister at

Friday, October 19, 2012

Open Access Week: October 22 - 28, 2012

Time: October 22, 2012 to October 28, 2012
Location: everywhere
Organized By: SPARC
Event Description:
Open Access Week, a global event now entering its sixth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

Learn more and sign up at for access to all the support and resources you need, and to connect with the worldwide OA Week community.

Weirdness in the World of MOOCs

Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law

From The Chronicle Blog: Wired Campus
October 18, 2012, 4:56 am
Coursera offers free, online courses to people around the world, but if you live in Minnesota, company officials are urging you to log off or head for the border.
The state’s Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Share Good Stuff wtih Creative Commons and Free Online Resources

As my friend and colleague, Tom Caswell, Director of Instructional Design at Western Governors University, is found of saying, "Teaching is sharing."

As educators/teachers/instructors/facilitators of learning, we are all about sharing information, sharing skills, sharing experiences and sharing workload to help our colleagues and our students succeed. And, although almost every educator I know is eager to share ideas, strategies, and even curricula, lessons and assessment tools, much of this rich collection of resources never makes it into the hands of other educators.

The more educators we have contributing to the global collection of resources, the richer the collection becomes. So, why not make it a practice to share everything you create for your courses?

Here's a simple, 3-step process to make your work accessible to others:
  1. Create your lessons, activities, assessments and so forth in an electronic format. Who doesn't, in this day and age, you might ask? Well, some items may not be easy to put into a Word doc. Maybe you could make a very short, non-edited, video of a demonstration. Or, record an explanation of a PowerPoint slide show.
  2. Add a Creative Commons license to your work. This allows others to use your work, without asking you for permission, directly. You can control the level of permissions by choosing from several different types of Creative Commons licenses. The most broad license says to the world "I created this work, and anyone, anywhere is free to use it in its entirety, or in part, for any purpose they choose. Just give me credit for my work."
  3. Post your work online in an easily found (read searchable) location. Where? A blog, wiki, or  website. Some easy-to-use (and ad-free for free, for educators!) examples are wikispaces, blogger and Google Drive (click on the orange "create" button to begin in Google Drive). Non-geeks will find these resources intuitive and there are multitudes of online resources to answer most questions you might have about how to make them fancy. As you can see from this blog, I have stuck to the non-techie, "old-fashioned" style of blog!
Have fun, and thanks for sharing!
PS Send me the links to your "good stuff" and I'll post them on this blog to share with others.

Accessibility Resources for Online Design ( CCBY )

From the Washington State Open Course Library Developer Resources section:

Learn more about Information Literacy, Open Education Resources, and Instructional Design...

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise specified, this work by Washington State Colleges is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The Open Course Library is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Washington State Legislature.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

OER, MOOCs, and Big Data

Here's a trio to jump-start a discussion with your campus community, about the future of higher education:
           (If you’re just interested in skimming the video, skip to 15:00 on the timeline)

What are your thoughts about where we're headed?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Learning Analytics

Have you seen this TED talk video?
(Thanks to Liz Falconer, Renton Technical College, for sending it to me.)

It's about MOOCs (though the speaker doesn't use the term MOOC) and learning analytics. My husband and I just watched it and were puzzling over what the implications of this type of data collection and analysis might be, for higher education.

What will the role of colleges and universities be, ten or twenty years from now?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Joint Services Transcript

A single transcript for military personnel? Yes! Dr. Carol Berry, Director, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support recently announced that the Joint Services Transcript (JST) is on its way. This should make it easier for our active duty and veteran military personnel to transfer credit and receive credit for prior learning. Stay tuned for more developments...

The ASSOCIATION Fall Conference

 November 16, 2012
Everett Community College
Jackson Conference Center
8:00am – 3:00pm

David Pearce Snyder, nationally recognized futurist

 “Every time I hear David speak I listen to every word; he is spellbinding”

~Bob Knight, President, Clark College

 Howard Behar, Former President, Starbucks

 Howard is committed to the development and education of our future leaders and has been a longtime advocate of the Servant Leadership Model.   He will discuss his book on leadership titled “It’s Not About the Coffee”.

Registration is limited – register today:   

Registration Fee: $175 for member colleges ~ $275 for non-member colleges (includes continental breakfast and lunch)

Lodging is available at The Inn at Port Gardner ~ 888-252-6779 (ask for The Association CTC rate of $96.00)

More information is available on The Association website:  

Contact:  Kati Hays

SU Offers Certificate for New Faculty

Professional Development Opportunity Through Seattle University:
Please see the attached brochure for information about a year-long certificate program, "Supporting New Faculty Success", offered by Seattle University. Also attached is a document with a short bio for each of the program instructors.

The cost is $1,800 for the complete 15-credit certificate. The classes aren’t offered separately.

For further information, please contact:
Lindsey Kafer
AEDT and SNFS Coordinator
Seattle University | College of Education

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Say This, NOT That to Your Professor

Ellen Bremmen, Highline Community College faculty, was recently quoted in this article from US News and World Report:
5 Guidelines for College Student-Professor Interactions

Students should avoid excuses that are the modern equivalent of ‘My dog ate my homework.’

September 17, 2012

"If students want to clarify what they missed after an absence, they can say—preferably in person and with notes in hand—'Professor, I was absent last Thursday. I saw on the schedule that you went over chapter 11. I read that chapter and worked on the assignment. I asked a classmate what else you covered that day, and I believe I have all the notes. Have I covered all my bases?" Bremen says.

Ellen says, "The reporter asked me for three of my best student-professor communication tips and he used them all, which was so exciting! I have been having some great national conversations around college readiness and communication, and employability, since my book came out over the past five months and the awareness of my The Chatty Professor blog increased on a wider scale.
Read Ellen's new book, Say This, NOT That to Your Professor.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Education Secretary Says Go Digital

Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 2 called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he declared.

Great Shake Out - October 18

UW Campus ShakeOut Thursday

October 8, 2012

by Bill Steele

Most States in the US and countries around the world will join in a massive Duck, Cover and Hold earthquake drill Thursday, 10/18 at 10:18. Please join in! Where ever you are, "Duck, cover, and hold" at 10:18 am and do one more thing that day to get better prepared for the next big quake.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Workplace Bullying

 Psychology Today

The Silent Epidemic: Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is the silent epidemic

Published on May 3, 2011 by Ray Williams in Wired for Success

Workplace bullying has become a silent epidemic North America, one that has huge hidden costs in terms of employee well being and productivity. Also known as psychological harassment or emotional abuse, bullying involves the conscious repeated effort to wound and seriously harm another person not with violence, but with words and actions. Bullying damages the physical, emotional and mental healthy of the person who is targeted. Read more...