#BbWorld15 – General Session

General Session
  • Richard Culatta, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Dept. of Education
  • Amy Laitinen, Deputy Director, Education Policy, New America
  • Kent Hopkins, Vice Provost for Enrollment Services, Arizona State University
  • Kris Clerkin, Executive Director, College for America at Southern New Hampshire University


  • Most online programs are still centered around the traditional.  Kris Clerkin from Southern New Hampshire University is pioneering new work around competency based education. Students have learning coaches. Access, low cost, and high quality = CBE. Expand access to now marketing. We have to tackle the value proposition.  We need new models and strip away what is not needed and focus on the learner.  We need to give employers the employees with the skills they need. We need to close the skills gap and attacking that through company partnerships. Do we iterate our instruction and change based on feedback? And including students’ voice into the design.
  • Kent Hopkins, from ASU talks about eAdvisors systems for tracking students progress. A scheduler planner also provides students with support for students to help and come along side students and empower them to make good decisions.  Partner with Starbucks for affordable education. In January of 2014 planning, June announcement, first class in 2014 was about 1200 students in 7 1/2 week sessions. Next fall 4,800 are expected out of the Starbucks employees of 150,000. Coaching students is important and spend time with students up front to manage their experiences through orientations about online learning and coming along side them with student success advisors. ME3 is a good example of student advising. Four weeks in a survey is deployed as a support mechanism for students.
  • Amy Laitinen, Deputy Director of Education Policy at New America, highlights barriers of change moving from what is best for faculty and administrators to what is best for students. What students need and what they want and how do we accommodate them. Software systems and campus based systems that are credit based are not easily accommodating this new world. Policy can create it’s own problems, but federal financial aid and there is historical legacy around “seat-time”.  Paying faculty by credit hour. There is a beginning shift to what matters > learning matters not seat time. Marrying the needs of the learner to the institution.  Not every learner knows what is best for them.
  • Let’s drop the cost of education by 25% by using OERs! Richard Culatta. We have a problem of student user experiences and we often focus on “non-traditional” learners, but these are the bulk of our students.  We need to be intentional about the user experience and look how difficult it is to manage your work schedule with your class schedule.  Why is it so difficult to even get into the education system? Why is there more power in recommendation decisions in Netflix than in education?  When we do get students in, we don’t do a good job while they are with us and supporting them and wrapping services around them. We have GPS systems so we don’t get lost, where is our LPS? Let’s use students to empower the conversation with faculty to advance education. What questions do we ask students, mainly about the class or course experience, but rather ask them larger user experience of their educational experience.  How can we help students help other students – Student Success Academy. Let’s give students choices and flexibility > but guidance.

Where is our learning positioning system in higher ed? So students have a destination and get help along the way. – Richard Culatta

We need a system that is designed for me. What students need and what they are expecting and what education provides. Meet students where they are and take them where they need to go. We have to think creatively and differently about the benefits of post-secondary education.


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