” The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) initiative that came to the aid of the 2005 hurricane-affected higher education students — called the “Sloan Semester” — is an excellent case in point to understand how higher education can possibly react to disaster in the future. By taking a close look at what actually happened during the Sloan Semester, and at the lessons learned, the higher education distance learning community can gain insight into the necessary steps to take in order to keep students actively engaged in their educational pursuits when and if the next disaster hits.
From an historical perspective concerning higher education disaster preparedness plans, in general, Ray Schroeder, director of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield, and an active member of Sloan-C, had created a disaster preparedness plan for the University of Illinois system in 2004. In that plan, Schroeder noted that a disasterrelated business-continuation plan with distance education components was not without precedent. In 2003, for instance, the University of Hong Kong shifted to distance learning solutions to keep its university community active when the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic temporarily closed it down.”
From the Sloan Semester Special Report (PDF) by Sloan-C.
- The Sloan Semester from JALN Volume 12, Issue 2
- Press Release – Free Online College Courses for Students Displaced by Hurricane Katrina
- Press Release – A Thousand Free Online Courses Now Available for Students Whose Studies Have Been Interrupted by Hurricane Katrina
- Press Release – Online Learning in an Emergency: Delivering the Curriculum When the Campus Is Closed