Response from OLC, QM, UPCEA, and WCET Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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OLC, QM, UPCEA, and WCET

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The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Quality Matters (QM), University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and WCET (the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) represent diverse perspectives from across the field of online learning. In this capacity, the four organizations have the ability to mobilize around topics and concerns relevant to our collective memberships.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) provides an opportunity to explore academic continuity plans for institutions who do not have them and test the viability of their work for those with plans in place. The leaders of OLC, QM, UPCEA, and WCET wish to take a moment to thank our members who have been working extremely hard to implement plans, acquire technical support, support faculty, and prepare students for any eventuality.

For those institutions without academic continuity plans we believe work should begin immediately. While the current conditions present a unique opportunity to position the delivery of instruction online as a key component in any continuity discussion, make no mistake, these conditions are not ideal for the development of quality online learning experiences. Online learning requires intentional instructional design as well as an exploration of the learning modality and pedagogy that must be aligned to a larger institutional strategy with intentionality, and collaboratively operationalized by various stakeholder groups within and across organizations.

We support institutional leaders that are considering the delivery of instruction via online technologies and are cautiously optimistic that once Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns abate that those same leaders will more deeply engage with online learning pedagogy, strategy, and quality assurance practices reflective of the needs of those engaged in teaching and learning online.

Dissemination of Information

OLC, QM, UPCEA and WCET all understand that it may be difficult to assess and act on information, especially in rapidly changing conditions such as the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We encourage individuals to monitor information and updates provided by the CDC, as well as to abide by their guidelines. The CDC has created a special Coronavirus (COVID-19) page which can be found here and the just issued “interim guidance” for higher education administrators that is a must read.

Further, our organizations are hosting or supporting dissemination of information via:

Beyond webinars, chats, and interviews, we also support the following sources of information:

Continuity of Our Operations

Each organization remains vigilant, staying current with Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and updates. Currently, all events and activities hosted by the organizations listed here are proceeding as planned. Please visit the event websites for more specific information.

Questions?

Undoubtedly in situations as fluid as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak you may have questions that have not been addressed in the resources above. Please contact us with any questions that you may have about academic continuity planning and online operations – we’re here to help.

Online Learning Consortium (OLC) @OLCToday

Quality Matters @QMProgram

University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) @UPCEA

WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) @wcet_info

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