Washington State CTC Faculty: OER Survey

SBCTC eLearning

SBCTC is conducting a study to examine how and to what extent Open Educational Resources (OER) are used in the 34 colleges in our system, how faculty perceive OER and, most importantly, what support faculty need to use OER in their classrooms and curriculum.

Please participate in this 5 minute survey.  Your participation even if you have not used OER in your courses (even if you are not quite sure what OER is!) is extremely valuable and greatly appreciated.

This survey is completely confidential. When SBCTC publishes the results, your name will NOT be associated with any of the findings.  If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Boyoung Chae at bchae@sbctc.edu.

Thank you so much for your time: it will help us design better learning opportunities for you, our faculty, in this extremely important area of innovation.

Candle Problems and Adaptive Challenges: Washington Higher Ed Sustainability Conference Call for Proposals

Candle Problem One

One of my favorite Ted Talks of all time is Dan Pink’s “The Puzzle of Motivation,” where he introduces Duncker’s candle problem— a cognitive performance test where participants, presented with a candle, a book of matches, and a box of thumbtacks, and a challenge: attach the (lit) candle to the wall.  Moreover, no wax must drip on the table below.

The solution to Duncker’s candle problem is not to light the candle and melt off some of the wax (melted wax is not an adhesive in that sense).  Nor can one merely thumbtack the candle to the wall.  Instead, the solution is to break out of a cognitive bias called functional fixedness— to realize that “the box of thumbtacks” is just that– a box . . . of thumbtacks.  Candle Problem Two

A participant locked into a particular way of viewing the world (or in reading the above text) will see the box only as a delivery vehicle for the thumbtacks, and not as a separate and functional component to be used in facing the challenge.

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Canvas Offers Grants: Innovation in Education

Canvas is offering $100,000 in grants to help spur innovation in education. The most innovative ideas in specific categories for both Higher Ed and K-12, as judged by a panel of experts, will receive grant money to help get their difference-making ideas off the ground.

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Marty Brown on the Washington State Community College Success Story

Marty Brown on the Washington State Community College Success Story

In this editorial, Marty Brown, Executive Director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), describes a recent study produced by the SBCTC (in cooperation with all Washington public four-year colleges and universities).

The study, which looked at 20,499 bachelor degree students who graduated in 2011, indicates that students who transfer from a two year college to a four year college perform just as well as students who start out as first year students, “with similar GPAs and credits earned upon graduation.”

Brown writes, “When the Legislature reinvested in community and technical colleges last session, it wrote a positive chapter in the community college success story, a story that plays out for all of us in Washington.”

It’s wonderful when research supports, quantitatively, a truth the faculty, students, and staff in our two year college system know qualitatively.  As Brown writes, “Students who intend to transfer to a four-year university complete the first two years of college and . . . arrive well-prepared, having already studied in small classes taught by instructors passionate about teaching.”

Let us continue to tell our stories of success with both our qualitative and our quantitative data!

Flipping the Classroom: A Solution to the STEM Shortage

At the New Faculty Institute in September, a faculty member approached me with a question: she was interested in flipping the classroom, but she was also concerned about the learning curve (especially as she was in the tenure process) that might result from integrating technology in her classroom.  She asked me if I knew any good models that she could use for inspiration.

I wish I had known about this webinar, Solving the STEM Shortage with Flipped Instruction and Dual Enrollment, back then.

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2013 Best Practices Exchange

ImageInvitation: Colleges in the SBCTC system are invited to send a team of four to six faculty and administrators to the fourth annual statewide Best Practices Exchange to discuss strategies that lead to student success to and through student achievement momentum points.  The event is scheduled for October 29, 2013 at Clover Park Technical College.  The event will begin at 9:00 am and end at 3:30 pm – box lunches will be provided.

The Agenda: Based upon research from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University and at the request of the presidents, we have modified the event to include a smaller number of presentations: each will highlight strategies with demonstrated evidence of moving students to and through student achievement momentum points.  Davis Jenkins, senior research associate with the CCRC, will be the keynote speaker.

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