Funding, Grants & Awards

WOW Awards Honor Technology Initiatives in Higher Education

Five higher education institutions have received this year's WOW Awards from the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET).

Each year since 2004, WCET has given the awards to colleges and universities that implement exceptionally creative, technology-based solutions to challenges in higher education. WCET is an arm of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education whose goal is to advocate for technology-based learning in higher education.

This year's awards went to California State University Northridge, Colorado Technical University, University of Central Oklahoma, the University of Hawaii System and Western Governors University.

The winners were picked from 26 projects that were submitted to the awards program. They will be recognized during the WCET Annual Meeting in Minneapolis Oct. 12-14.

The winning projects include:

  • California State University Northridge in Los Angeles had an AppJam competition in which it challenged students to create apps that could then be used by faculty members to enhance learning. Four of the apps have already been designed, tested and published in the App Store. Others are in the pipeline.
  • The online Colorado Technical University developed CTU Mobile, an app intended to keep students engaged when away from campus and their studies. It provides access to live and archived lectures, online discussion boards and degree progress bars for motivation.
  • The University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond came up with the Student Transformative Learning Record, which gives students activities, assignments and badges of accomplishments for developing non-academic work and life skills.
  • The University of Hawaii system has developed data analytics and tools designed to enhance student success. With the help of the data analytics program, for instance, the system initiated the "15 to Finish" program encouraging students to take 15 units each semester in order to graduate on time.
  • The online Western Governors University created a digital Responsible Borrowing initiative that helps students study data on their financial needs in order to make better decisions about student loans they may accrue.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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