The Learning Technology Advisory Committee (LTAC), formerly the Distance Education Advisory Committee, engages in substantive policy research and discussion dealing with the increasingly important role that learning technology plays in Texas higher education. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognizes the important role that distance education and computer assisted instruction, including e-learning tools such as electronic textbooks and open course materials, plays in helping the state reach the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015. LTAC’s work includes:
· Analysis of the current state of distance education in Texas higher education including the use of various distance education modalities, the cost of distance education, the availability of high need and high demand degree programs through distance education, institutional fee structures associated with distance education, the role of technology in instructional cost effectiveness, duplication of distance education programs, and public/private distance education collaborations;
· Development of policy recommendations to staff and the Board on critical issues such as:
o The development of distance education institutional collaboratives;
o The development of shared electronic course resources and learning materials, including textbooks and other digital learning objects;
o Best practices in the evaluation of distance education;
o The role of online and hybrid education in offering accessible and affordable degree programs;
o Partnerships between community colleges and universities that leverage technology to increase the number of degree completion options available to students;
o Ways to creatively and innovatively use technology to change the way in which higher education is offered; and
o Ways to creatively and innovatively use technology to increase student retention and success through programs such as just-in-time, on-demand academic support services.
· Review and make recommendations regarding all distance education doctoral proposals to ensure the development of high quality programs.
Over the last several years, LTAC has reviewed the Coordinating Board's rules and policies pertaining to distance education, revised the state's Principles of Good Practice in Distance Education, and researched critical issues in distance education. During the 2011-2012 academic year LTAC will focus on producing a comprehensive analysis of distance education in Texas with recommendations for changes to Coordinating Board policy and state legislation.
Original charge: 1998
Current status: Standing, non-statutory
Meeting Schedule: Meets 4-6 time per year, including teleconferences to consider distance education doctoral programs
LTAC Members: Membership currently includes representatives from public community and technical colleges, universities, and health related institutions as well as one student member. Membership terms are for three years with the possibility of reappointment.