Reta Chaffee is the Director of Educational Technology at Granite State College. She has a BA in Spanish with a minor in Education from UNH, a Masters in International Administration with a focus on development and training from the School for International Training, World Learning and a Masters in Internet Strategy Management from the Marlboro College Graduate School.
Reta manages the Educational Technology Department which, as captured in the department’s mission, provides leadership in evaluating, implementing and promoting effective and innovative educational technologies and methodologies that support excellence in teaching and learning. This includes oversight and support of the online and hybrid courses. Reta also serves on the USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee which hosts the annual Academic Technology Institute each year. She has been at GSC since 1999 when the college was just launching its first online courses on WebCT.
|““I remember fondly when we made the decision to make the quantum leap from three online courses to five a few terms later.
This seemed monumental.”
|Today, the college is offering over 130 online courses per term and the enrollments in the online courses represent approximately 65% of the enrollments at the college. In addition hybrid and blended courses are offered each term.
A lot has changed since we first began offering online courses. One of the most significant changes is the availability and accessibility of rich open-education resources and educational technologies via the web.
When we first started offering courses, they were mainly text based with a few low-resolution images. High-speed Internet access was not the norm. Now faculty and students have access to a whole range of tools to bring their courses to life. “It is very exciting to see how faculty are integrating these resources and tools into their courses. We used to have to introduce these new resources to faculty but now they are starting to bring them to our attention. We look forward to working with faculty in finding the best way to integrate these technologies to meet the learning outcomes and their instructional goals.”
In order to support the growing faculty and student body, Reta depends on the enthusiasm and talents of the highly skilled instructional design team. We have a great team with diverse skills in instructional design, rich media, assessment, web resource creation and many of whom are faculty as well.
Reta depends on and is engaged with a number of professional organizations to keep her informed of the challenges, successes and emerging technologies and best practices. Among those of interest are Educause (NERCOMP, ELI) Sloan-C, WCET and various related listservs. She recently attended the NERCOMP Moodle User’s Group at UMass Amherst.
When not at work or online, Reta spends time with her family which includes her husband, 2 young daughters, an exchange student from Kyrgyzstan and too many pets to name…but 4 of them do lay eggs! As a complete diversion, she is taking her 2nd creative welding class at the local adult education program. Her husband is urging her to make a rickshaw.