CTDLCConnecticut Distance Learning Consortium
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For CTDLC, the problem of aggregating courses for degrees was never an issue.
Merle Harris is the president of that board, but she has also been president of Charter Oak since 1989, and so leads an institution that is a member of the Consortium, paying dues and applying to the CTDLC for grants.
Sloan Foundation awarded CTDLC a grant to pay faculty and offer the first courses.
Because CTDLC provides the technological infrastructure to colleges and universities, it has none of the costs of implementation, no support or maintenance headaches.
In the past year, CTDLC has upgraded to six servers; it's adding processors, bigger hard drives, and additional memory, making sure each server is up to enterprise standards.
The fees CTDLC charges vary by platform and degree of service.
This is the CTDLC's philosophy, and it's key to the venture's success.
At the CTDLC's annual conference, the Consortium makes awards to individual teachers, and offers grant money for course development.
In 2001, CTDLC began by training 200 individual teachers, then refined and broadened the process this past year.
So CTDLC focused on training teachers first to use a well-designed Internet-based lesson and then to create a well-designed one--not by worrying about how to center graphics on a Web page, but by focusing on the pedagogy.
But as the Consortium--and distance learning in general--continues to broaden its scope, could the CTDLC become a victim of its own success?
* CTDLC has a built-in "credit bank" for converting disparate courses and credits into whole degrees: Charter Oak State College.