Teaching, Learning, and Research in 21st Century Community Colleges
By James L. Morrison

Keynote Address and Workshop at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association for Community College Research

Sheraton at Waterside
Norfolk, Virginia
August 1 - 4, 1999

Technology has substantially changed the way community colleges do business, and it is beginning to change not only the way they conduct research but the very fundamentals of the teaching/learning process itself. How do community colleges stay abreast in a world where technology evolves at a rapid and bewildering pace? What strategies do they employ to remain on the cutting edge of technology? How can they afford the high price tag of technology? How has technology changed institutional research in community colleges? How has it changed teaching and learning? These questions related to the conference theme, the impact of technology on teaching, learning, and research, and served as guiding questions for the keynote address and workshop.

Relevant Reading Materials on the Future of the Community College

Respondents were requested to review the following readings prior to coming to the conference (Note: On the Horizon articles are reproduced here with the permission of Jossey-Bass Publishers.)

Address and Workshop Agenda

Monday, August 2, 1999

1:30 - 2:30


Keynote: Community College Education in the 21st Century
James L. Morrison
What are the driving forces that will affect how we live and learn in the 21st century? How will these forces affect the structure and process of community colleges in the coming decade? What are the implications for institutional research offices?



Workshop Organization. We will break out into small (6-10 person) groups where we will use the Nominal Group Process as we complete the following exercises:



What information technologies that currently exist or that are on the horizon that could affect community colleges tomorrow?



Reportbacks and Break



Identify and describe the most critical technologies for
a. teaching and learning
b. institutional research





Select one technology tool. Identify the implications of this tool for: a) teaching and learning; and b) institutional research.







The proceedings of each group describe the  lists of tools and most critical technologies for teaching, learning, and institutional research. We cannot capture the small group discussions, but can report the following from a recap of the reportbacks: technology can free people from mundane tasks and to allow them to use their time creatively

  • there is a major conflict between the need for public community colleges to be able to rapidly train students on the "newest and best" equipment and the cost of that equipment
  • we need to develop procedures to make sure that students at a distance actually take the tests that they report taking
  • with the move toward competency-based degrees, community college degrees will no longer be based upon grades earned on tests in courses, but rather on student performance of tasks

Patricia Windham collated the proceedings as represented on the flipchart paper left after the workshop was completed. We are indebted to her for this effort. If any participant wants to amend or elaborate a point, please send a note to James Morrison.


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