Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Higher Education Committee

HB 1946

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Regarding higher education online technology.

Sponsors: Representatives Carlyle, Anderson, Wallace, Angel, White, Schmick, Hasegawa, Goodman, Sullivan, Haigh, Hudgins, Kenney and Maxwell.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Directs all institutions of higher education to use common online learning technologies.

  • Requires the K-20 Network to convene a workgroup to improve the use of technology in education.

  • Requires that the workgroup report preliminary findings and recommendations, based on its comprehensive analysis, by December 1, 2009 with a final report to follow by December 1, 2010.

Hearing Date: 2/17/09

Staff: Andi Smith (786-7304)


Technology Transformation Taskforce in the Community & Technical Colleges

Beginning in 2006, the Technology Transformation Taskforce of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges conducted an 18-month analysis to identify ways to improve education through the effective use of technology. The Taskforce conducted extensive surveys, focus groups and interviews with students, faculty, staff, and education and information technology experts and educators from across the country and around the world. It also analyzed the community and technical college system’s successes and mistakes in the deployment of information technology during the past 25 years.

The Taskforce issued a report in 2008 that dealt with three major areas of technology deployment: student learning, student services, and administration. In all three areas, the Taskforce found a need for greater uniformity across the 34 community and technical colleges in the system and within the broader P-20 education system. This plan also recommended a shift from locally developed software and hosting services.

Information Technology Terms

Open Textbook (and other course material): An open textbook is an openly-licensed textbook offered online by its author(s). The open license sets open textbooks apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no cost. For a textbook to be considered open, it must be licensed in a way that grants a baseline set of rights to users that are less restrictive than its standard copyright. A license or list of permissions must be clearly stated by the author. Open textbooks are increasingly seen as a potential solution to some of the challenges with the traditional textbook publishing model.

Hosted application: A hosted application, also known as Internet-based application, web-based application, online application and Application Service Providers (ASPs) are software applications where the software resides on servers that are accessed through the Internet instead of the more traditional software that is installed on either a local server or on individual computers.

Web conferencing service is a service that allows users to share documents, make presentations, demonstrate products and services, and communicate as if they were 'face-to-face' with people at almost any location via a personal computer using an internet connection.

Summary of Bill:

Common Learning Technologies

All institutions of higher education are required to use common online learning technologies, including those currently managed by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). All institutions must be fully migrated to the common system by July 1, 2012. The SBCTC will adjust current licenses to accommodate the additional schools and convene a workgroup to determine a shared fee structure.

Technology Workgroup

The K-20 network must convene a workgroup to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of education relative to the use of technology. The group must include representatives from each of the public baccalaureate institutions, six community or technical colleges, and one representative each from the Higher Education Coordinating Board, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, the Department of Information Services, and the Council of Presidents.

The group must take the following actions in developing the plan:

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on February 9, 2009.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.