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WCET Connect Annual Meeting, Nov. 19-22, 2014The upcoming WCET Connect conference in Portland, OR, will highlight discussions related to e-learning and student success, areas of intensive focus for the California Community Colleges (CCC).


Two CCC leaders will present conference sessions related to these topics, and discuss solutions the CCC is working on through statewide grant programs such as the Online Education Initiative (OEI). The annual conference, which this year runs from Nov. 19 through Nov. 21 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, is hosted by WCET, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Pat James, Executive Director of the OEI, will be featured in two sessions, including a talk on what California’s community colleges are doing to prepare students for online learning. The session is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Later in the conference, James will participate in a panel discussion titled, “What Do Our Students Really Think of Online Learning?” The session is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 20 from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Additionally, LeBaron Woodyard, Dean of Academic Affairs in the CCC Chancellor’s Office, and an advisor to the OEI, will discuss how to “Improve Instructional Design Using Parallel Prototyping” on Thursday, Nov. 20 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Lessons Learned

A keynote address titled “Innovation at Scale: Creating a Systemwide Environment” could provide food for thought for leaders of the CCC’s online education programs. Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York, will discuss SUNY’s experience building systemwide online access to public higher education, a model similar to what the OEI is working toward. Zimpher’s presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

The closing keynote by Anya Kamenetz, an educational futurist and lead education writer for NPR, will share a glimpse into the classrooms of the future. During the session, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 21 from 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., Kamenetz will discuss self-directed online learning, and how technology will shape the way we learn and teach.

Registration Still Open

Early-bird registration is available until Oct. 17. Registration includes access to all sessions and events as well as a mobile program app.

To register, visit the conference registration page. More information about the WCET Connect conference is at

Crista Souza is a TechEDge Contributing Editor.