The Courseware in Context (CWiC) Framework
Digital courseware is an ambiguous term. Does it mean adaptive software? (Often.) Can it allow faculty to customize course content and activities? (Sometimes.) Digital courseware is a big tent housing a range of rapidly evolving products all geared toward delivering effective learning experiences. The more important question, we can all agree, is this: does digital courseware improve outcomes for students? The Courseware in Context (CWiC) Framework is a tool to inform decision-making around courseware selection and usher us to the stage where the answer is ‘yes.’
The CWiC Framework combines efficacy research, a product taxonomy, and implementation scorecards to enable decision-makers to choose effective products in a changing, much-hyped category with the ultimate goal of meeting the needs of all learners. The Framework was developed by Tyton Partners, in collaboration with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and SRI International, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. An Advisory Committee of postsecondary education leaders with input from courseware vendors helped refine it. (see Acknowledgements for more detail)
If you are a faculty member looking to investigate digital courseware products for the first time, check out the Product Primer to see which capabilities matter most to you. If you are an instructional designer and you need a detailed review of product attributes, you’ll find the CWiC Designer tools a comprehensive resource. Administrators can use the efficacy data and implementation scorecards in the complete CWiC Framework to help with a course review or a measurement and evaluation project for a course or program.
Collaboration and community input produced this first version of the CWiC Framework and we envisage it continuing to develop over time. We more than welcome your feedback: we encourage it!