Instructional Technology Council Program Activities
March 30, 2012 – March 30, 2013
Advocated Congress to Drop a Senate Provision to Restrict Financial Aid for Online Students
- ITC worked with legislative staff from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to convince Congress to remove a proposal the Senate had included in its FY 2013 appropriations bill (S. 3295) that would have restricted the ability of fully-online students to receive Pell grant funding to pay for their living expenses, even though face-to-face students would have continued to be entitled to receive this funding.
- This restriction would have reduced the reimbursement for each online student by an average of $1,400. It would have hurt community college students in particular, since their tuition rates are low enough that money is left over from their Pell Grant to help pay for these expenses.
- ITC informed its members of the impact of this proposed legislation and asked them to contact their Congressional representative to convince them to reinstate this important benefit to online learners.
Informed and advocated on the Department of Education’s proposed requirement that higher education institutions obtain state authorization to teach out-of-state distance learning students
- Created and regularly updated a special section on the ITC Web site with articles and resources to inform ITC members that higher education institutions that offer distance education courses to out-of-state students must meet state requirements to offer courses to their residents.
- In February 2012, issued a three-page policy statement on behalf of ITC and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), this outlined the background and impact of this issue. The statement also included recommendations as to how community colleges could respond to the proposed requirements.
- On Dec. 4, 2012, hosted a Webinar presentation in which Marianne Boeke, from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), shared what she learned when she contacted every State agency to document their policies for authorizing out-of-state institutions that offer online courses to their residents.
- Worked with Pam Quinn, a member of the Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, about ITC’s position on the Commission’s draft State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.
Submitted comments to the Department of Education, and presented oral testimony at a Department of Education hearing on financial aid fraud rings
- On Jan. 27, 2012, participated in a President’s Forum meeting on financial aid fraud. Published an article that summarized the Department of Education’s position on the issue, and provided best practice steps that for-profit and non-profit institutions have used to combat these crimes. The article also included a discussion of technical issues and legal concerns.
- On May 31, 2012, submitted written comments on behalf of ITC members, stating the Inspector General’s recommendation that the Department “seek statutory changes to [reduce] the cost of attendance calculation for students enrolled in distance education programs under the HEA [Higher Education Act] to limit the payment for room and board” would discriminate against distance education students and reduce the amount of aid awarded to needy students. Summarized these proceedings for ITC members in an e-mail and on the ITC Web site.
Collaborated with other Washington-based agencies to promote access to broadband connections for community colleges and universities
- In 2010-13, ITC served as an active participant for the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) to advocate on behalf of distance educators at community colleges, and inform ITC members about the ways the Obama administration’s broadband initiatives could help their distance learning operation.
Presented a pre-conference workshop on legislative issues at the Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning
- Presented a pre-conference workshop, “Online Learning: Federal Legislation and Policy: What’s Here and What’s Coming At You?” in Orlando, Florida on Oct. 10, 2012.
Attended the first meetings of the congressional eLearning caucus
- Attended the first meetings of the Congressional eLearning Caucus on Jan. 6, 2012 and July 11, 2012, which were initiated by Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Jared Polis (D-CO). ITC’s executive director informed the participants about community colleges’ interest in distance education.
Authored and Distributed eLearning News
- Throughout the year, ITC staff regularly informed members about distance learning issues and trends via biweekly e-mail notices. The e-mails included short excerpts from articles on eLearning featured in Inside Higher Ed, the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the blogosphere, and other news sources. ITC staff also sent members summaries and links to the latest eLearning research from the National Center for Educational Statistics, other Department of Education agencies, and the Sloan Foundation, among other sources.
- ITC archived past news updates on the members’ only section of the Web site, to enable distance education and online staff to quickly access and search for relevant information.
Hosted eLearning 2013 on Feb. 17-20, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas
- ITC’s annual professional development conference attracted 410 registrants and 28 exhibitors.
- The Alamo Colleges, which include Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, St. Philip’s College and San Antonio College, served as the host institution.
- eLearning 2013 featured 58 professional development concurrent sessions, a day of pre-conference workshops, inspiring general session speakers, and an exhibit hall.
- Featured speakers at eLearning 2011 included: Tanya Joosten, interim director for the learning technology center and professor in the department of communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College; Cameron Evans, national and chief technology officer for U.S. education at Microsoft Corporation, and Dr. Mark Milliron, chancellor for Western Governors University Texas.
- eLearning 2013 attendees participated in the following pre-conference workshops:
- “Designing High-Quality Online Courses for Student Success”
- “Ensuring Your Institution’s Web Presence Works for All - Part I”
- “Game On! Using Games in an Educational Environment”
- “How’d You Do That? Tips and Tricks That Might Account for My 95 Percent Retention Rate”
- “iPad 101 Workshop”
- “La Vista Nueva: Change is Good”
- “Making your Instructional Materials Web Accessible - Part II”
- “Online Teaching: Redefining Training, Structure, and Tools,” and
- “Opening Up Learning: The Why, What, How, and Who to Discovery and Adoption of High-Quality Open Educational Resources”
- “Socrates in Cyberspace: Creating, Facilitating, and Assessing Critical Thinking in Online Environments”
Hosted 36 Weekly ITC Professional Development Webinars
- In 2012-13, ITC offered 36 weekly professional development Webinar presentations, which featured practical advice from distance learning experts for administrators, instructional designers and faculty members.
- Anne Arundel Community College provided ITC the use of its Blackboard Collaborate site for these presentations, which enabled presenters to showcase their Web sites, and share program, video and audio materials with Webinar participants.
Hosted the ITC 2012 Distance Education Leadership Academy
- ITC held the ITC 2012 Distance Learning Leadership Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 24-26, 2012.
- Eighteen participants worked with academy faculty and members of the ITC board of directors to understand their home institutions, create a sound leadership strategy for their environment, develop a leadership model to fit their institution, identify and acquire key tools for successful leadership in distance learning and gain a network of practitioners.
Authored and Distributed the 2012 Distance Education Survey Results—Trends in eLearning: Tracking the Impact of eLearning at Community Colleges
- In the fall of 2012, ITC surveyed its members on the state of distance education at community colleges. Members of the ITC board of directors created and reviewed the survey questions, to ensure it gathered the data and information useful to distance learning administrators and faculty.
- ITC published and distributed this report to ITC members, all of the member presidents of the American Association of the Community Colleges, and to members of the press. This publication is also freely available on the ITC Web site.
- The 2011 report was mentioned in articles featured in Inside Higher Ed, the Chronicle of Higher Education, US News, OLDaily by Stephen Downes, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources by Tony Bates, TechEdge, Indiana Pathways to College Network, the Education Commission of the States, and the University of Wisconsin Distance Education Certificate Program.
Authored and Distributed the Quarterly ITC Newsletter
- ITC published a quarterly online newsletter, featuring articles written by ITC staff, the ITC board of directors, and by ITC members. Articles written by ITC members covered distance learning best practices, activities and events at their institutions and in their region.
Distributed the 2013 ITC Awards for Excellence in eLearning
- ITC recognized the recipients of ITC’s 2011 Awards for Excellence in eLearning at an awards luncheon on Feb. 19, 2013 during the eLearning 2013 conference in San Antonio, Texas. ITC staff organized the nomination process and recruited judging panels, which included members of the ITC board of directors, past award winners, and other ITC members, to review the candidates.
- Award categories included lifetime achievement, outstanding eLearning program, outstanding eLearning faculty, outstanding use of new technology and/or delivery system, outstanding student services, outstanding technical support and service, and outstanding eLearning student.
Hosted the ITC Forum at the AACC Annual Convention
- ITC sponsored the forum, “Advancing the Completion Agenda through Innovation and Technology,” at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 2013 Convention in San Francisco, California on April 22, 2013.
- Presenters included Anne Johnson, dean of business, social sciences and online learning at Inver Hills Community College; Fred Lokken, dean for the TMCC WebCollege; Mickey Slimp, executive director for the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities (NETnet); and, Carol Spalding, president of Rowan Cabarrus Community College.
- Mickey Slimp, Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities, served on AACC’s Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development.
- Anne Johnson, Inver Hills Community College, served on AACC’s Commission on Research, Technology and Emerging Trends.
The Instructional Technology Council is a national organization, whose mission is to provide exceptional leadership and professional development in higher education to its network of eLearning practitioners by advocating, collaborating, researching, and sharing exemplary, innovative practices and potential in educational technologies.