Category Archives: SD 2010

May through June 2010 activities

Wikieductor workshop

I first learned about Wikieductor at a Commonwealth of Learning conference I attended in 2008.

The following information from the Commonwealth of Learning about the above free workshop will be of interest who have been following the Open Education Resource initiative. I’ve found Wikieductor to be a useful tool, particularly for Computer Studies. I believe it also has an application for math essential skills.

“WikiEducator Gives Back” online workshop, July-August 2010
21 July – 4 August 2010

“WikiEducator Gives Back” is a unique opportunity to interact with some of WikiEducator’s most seasoned and experienced facilitators and editors. This free wiki workshop is presented online over 10 working days and requires approximately 15-20 minutes per day. The course is presented asynchronously – so you can work at times which fit your own schedule. Join educators around the world who are returning to the core values of sharing knowledge freely.

“WikiEducator Gives Back” is part of the Learning4Content project, which is the world’s largest attempt to build wiki skills for education. It is administered by the OER Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation helping individuals and organisations to achieve their objectives using open education approaches.


Learning Summit 2010

I’m in Phoenix at the League for Innovation’s Learning College Summit 2010 conference.

The keynote presentation was by Terry O’Banion and Cyntia Wilson on the connections between the Principles of a Learning College and the Student Success/Completion Agenda.

According to O’Banion a learning college

  • Creates substantive change in the individual learner.
  • Engages learners as full partners in the learning process, assuming primary responsibility for their own choices.
  • Treats and offers as many options for learning as possible.
  • Assists learners to form and participate in collaborative learning activities.
  • Defines the roles of learning facilitators by the needs of the learners.
  • Succeeds only when it can document improved and expanded learning.

In the last few years more money has been spent on community colleges  than in the previous 100 plus years. Much of this money comes from foundations like Lumina and Gates. The focus of this money has been the Student Success/Completion Agenda goals. Key issues for these are

  • Focus on low-income, underprepared, and/or underrepresented students
  • Measures of success include
    • course completion
    • retention
    • certificate (one-year or more)
    • degree
    • job

The presentation asked us to discuss two ‘big questions’.

  • Do actions arising from the Principles of the Learning College improve and expand studen learning (as identified by the Student Success/Completion Agenda)?
  • How do we know?

While the context of this was distinctly American, there are parallels with Canadian and specifically Camosun College Community Learning Partnerships department issues around the Nine Essential Skills.

Some issues raised by O’Banion that resonated with us all are

“We have created a culture of access that limits student success.” He mentioned allowing late registration as an example of this.

President Obama has set a goal of increasing college graduation by 5 million by 2020.

The Lumina Foundation’s goal is to increase enrollment by 60% by 2025.

The Gates Foundation wants to double enrollment of younger (<26), low income adults wbho will earn ‘labor market value’ credentials.

Thes goals are set in the context of a college completion rate that  has been flat for 40 years.

To meet these goals foundations are giving more money than they have in all the previous 110 years combined of the existence of community colleges.

The commom elements of these initiatives are a focus on low income, under-prepared students.

The measures of success are connected to one year certification or more and NOT short-term course credentials. Course completion and retention leading to jobs are leading indicators of success.

Community Partners Essential Skills

Our department chair and I met this morning with some of our community partners today on collaborating in a project to incorporate essential skills in our work together with our communities. As part of my 2010-11 faculty schedule development project, I have committed to begin the process of integrating essential skills into my math curriculum.

The BC ABE (Fundamental) Working Group is revamping the Fundamental Level mathematics course into six levels. The learning outcomes from these should integrate well with numeracy essential skills.  See the ABE Articulation Handbook for the specific learning outcomes. Scroll down to the Adult Literacy Fundamental Skill Levels on page 59.

For an example of how this integration might work, see this link. An example specific to Retail Sales Associates and Tellers is available at