Designing Blended Introductory Computer Courses


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Designing Blended Introductory Computer Courses

  1. 1. Designing Blended Introductory Computer Courses: Meeting Students’ Needs While Delivering Learning Outcomes Maria F. Boada Department Chair, General Education Department Amber Epps Assistant Department Chair, General Education Department
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION !! Onlineeducation has grown dramatically, but not without issues. From the critics: !! Requires high level of self-motivation, organization and time-management skills. !! Higher levels of attrition (Simpson, 2003) !! Some studies have found that students do not consider online instruction a replacement for face-to- face instruction (Cooper, 2001). !! Onlineeducation evolution: acceptance and recognition " Value, accessibility, engaged learning, independent learning
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION !! Blended courses, as defined by the SLOAN Consortium, deliver 30-79% of content online !! Blended learning aims to optimize the online and traditional pedagogical approaches. !! The “Blending In” report on Blended Education (March, 2007) indicates that, as of 2007, over 50% of all colleges and universities offer blended courses. !! Blended learning has been used to provide learner support and improve retention on “at risk” students (Hughes, 2007)
  4. 4. BLENDING AT AIP Background: !! AiP : Campus and Online modalities. !! Online student vs. Campus student profiles: learning styles and needs. !! Thus far, no blended courses have been offered. !! AiP offers AS and BS degrees with a core General Education curriculum. !! A basic computer skills course, Computer Literacy (CPU101), is a compulsory course for all students enrolled in degree programs. !! Why blend CPU101?
  5. 5. THE PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges in the design and implementation of blended Computer Literacy courses on a 5 ! week intensive format. We compared the success in delivering learning outcomes as well as student satisfaction between the traditional and blended courses.
  6. 6. METHODOLOGY Pilot Study !! Data was collected from three sections of Computer Literacy: two blended sections (instructors A and B) and one traditional section (instructor A) !! Session length: 5 ! weeks !! 50/50 face-to-face/online delivery breakdown. Participants !! Freshman students (n=43) enrolled in their first quarter –intensive format. !! Students were also enrolled in a second traditional course.
  7. 7. METHODOLOGY Placement Quiz Questions And Criteria
  8. 8. COURSE DESIGN !! Course designed with eCompanion !! Online lectures (readings), discussions, and assignments !! Accounts for 4 hours (1 hour each) " attendance !! Onlinereadings selected based on material discussed in class but NOT included in text !! Links to outside resources and articles !! Discussions based on readings !! Open-ended questions !! Foster critical thinking and participation !! Explicit requirements
  9. 9. COURSE COMPETENCIES •!Demonstrate knowledge of system components and computer terminology. •!Demonstrate familiarity with input and output devices, and networks. •!Demonstrate the ability to use MAC or PC operating systems. •!Demonstrate ability to perform File Management procedures. •!Demonstrate the use of elementary software applications (word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software). •!Create and edit documents using word processing software. •!Demonstrate proficiency with spreadsheet software by utilizing formatting commands, formulas and charting features. •!Create a professional presentation using presentation software.
  10. 10. COURSE DESIGN Campus Online •!Course Intro •!Windows XP •!Computer Concepts •!Internet Explorer 7 •!Intro to Office 2007 •!Directory Structures* •!Word (Units A & B) •!Word (Units C & D) •!Excel (Units A & B) •!Security, Privacy, & Ethics Online* •!Word & Excel Integration •!Excel (Units C & D) •!PowerPoint (Units A & B) •!Researching on the Internet* •!Outlook/Email •!PowerPoint (Units C & D) •!Netiquette •!Evaluating Online Info* *online lectures
  11. 11. DATA COLLECTED !! Grades from a final common exam was collected across all sections. !! The exam was sectioned into segments related to the specific learning outcomes for the course. !! Student Survey responses at the end of the course.
  15. 15. RESULTS – STUDENT FEEDBACK #93.8% of students agreed with the statement “The blended format of this course helped me be successful” #87.5% of students indicated that they would like to take blended courses in the future. #93.3% of student responding to the survey would recommend blended classes to other students. #When asked what was the most beneficial aspect of the blended format here are some of the responses: “I was able to stay focused easier in the blended class, because I knew that I had to pay attention so I could successfully do my homework” “I was able to do the assignments on my own time”
  16. 16. CONCLUSIONS !! Findings indicate that the blended course is as effective as the traditional course in supporting the achievement of the course competencies. !! Average final exam scores for all applications sections of the exam were higher in the blended course. !! Student surveys suggest that the combination of face-2-face and online learning is a good fit to their learning styles. !! Student feedback suggests that the blended format does not hinder the learning of computer applications-related learning objectives.
  17. 17. WHO BENEFITS? Flexibility on completing course work More opportunities for Increased access out-of-class to all course Increased Computer skills practice material faculty- student interaction Students Admin- Institution- Facilitates Relieve achievement Effective use Student’s of computer scheduling of existing skills difficulties resources learning Expanded outcomes offerings Faculty …next step
  18. 18. CHALLENGES… !! Faculty involvement " Create course content, added time commitment. !! Continue to balance campus/online content and assessments. !! Incorrect student placement.
  19. 19. WHAT’S NEXT… !! Gather additional data for intensive quarter courses – focus on evaluation of participation and faculty feedback. !! Evaluate competency-related focus for student online participation " use for curriculum revision !! Implement a regular 11-week CPU101 course blended and evaluate effectiveness !! Evaluate the feasibility of design and implementation of other blended Gen Ed courses (from faculty and student feedback).
  20. 20. QUESTIONS?