Establish and promote a community of faculty, administrators, and support staff in educational institutions in the Pacific Northwest to share ideas and provide mutual support in the use of technologies, tools, and techniques for the advancement of electronic teaching and learning.
- Share best practices in pedagogy, instructional design, system and program management in electronic environments.
- Collaborate on use of learning technologies.
- Provide feedback and ideas for improved functionality to product developers.
- Gather participants for face-to-face collaboration, learning, and support in an annual conference.
A steering committee of representatives from the user community governs activities. The membership has input into that steering committee each year, during a business meeting at the annual conference.
The following positions comprise the steering committee. This pattern is designed to balance the need for stability and continuity with the need for input and fresh leadership from across the region.
- Chair: Responsible for organizing meetings and providing group direction. Chairmanship begins following the annual conference, on or about November 1.
- Chair-elect: This person will be chair in the following year. The chair-elect is also the secretary of the organization.
- Past chair: The retiring chair from the previous year.
- Treasurer: Appointed from the Steering Committee. This may be an ongoing position to facilitate smooth business transactions.
- State representatives, up to two for each state (WA, OR, ID).
- Elected or affirmed by the membership at the annual meeting
- One-year term, no term limit
- At-Large representatives, who simply have an interest in serving.
Steering committee members must be current faculty or staff at an educational institution in the states of Washington, Oregon, or Idaho.
In 2005, a group in the Evergreen State associated with the Washington Community and Technical College eLearning Council (eLC) formed the Washington Blackboard Users Group. WABUG aimed to create a community of Blackboard users involved in teaching and learning. With the rapid growth of online, hybrid, and web-enhanced instruction in our institutions, we responded by creating a community to share best practices, tips, and new technologies to enhance our colleges.
At the inaugural meeting in December 2006, attendees elected a committee representing WABUG and a sister organization, the Pacific Northwest Blackboard Users Group, with the charge of determining how the organization could best serve the similar goals of the two groups.
The committee announced a new name, NW eLearn, in 2007 and they developed the mission statement and governance protocol. Attendees voted to accept the recommendations.
Since then, NWeLearn has hosted yearly conferences in various locations around the three states. In 2010, we started offering webinars. If you are interested in our work, the NWELC listserv provides a network for eLearning professionals in the Pacific Northwest.