E-Learning Info: Lake Superior College

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First created for the RIP conference presentations on October 6, 2006.

First created for the RIP conference presentations on October 6, 2006.

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  • 1. Lake Superior College Virtual Campus
  • 2. Vital Stats
    • Approx. 1,800 students take at least one online course each semester at LSC.
    • 135 sections of online courses are being taught during fall 2006.
    • 87% of all available seats are taken.
    • Approx. 65 faculty members teach at least one online course per year at LSC.
  • 3. Growth of LSC Virtual Campus
  • 4. Growth of Online as % of Total College
  • 5.  
  • 6. High-Speed Access for Students Based on self-reporting from student demographics surveys
  • 7. Distance from LSC Campus Based on self-reporting from student demographics surveys
  • 8. Today’s Menu Choices Online Student Mentors Online Tutoring Online Developmental Courses Improving Course Completion Rates Priorities Survey for Online Learners Web Accessibility
  • 9. Web Accessibility
  • 10. Doing Something About Web Accessibility
    • Everybody talks about accessibility, but not many do something about it.
    • Provide disabilities training for faculty and staff.
      • Be prepared for your OCR review because they will ask about this.
      • Be 508-compliant before you need it.
    • The main reason: IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!
  • 11. Accessibility Training at LSC
    • During FY04 & FY05 we offered web accessibility workshops on campus.
      • Attendance was spotty
      • End result was not terribly effective
    • Currently we are requiring web publishers to complete accessibility modules online.
      • All people who post info to the web
      • Including all online faculty
  • 12. This web resource is free and open to all.
  • 13. Must Complete #1 & 2 For Online Faculty, they then choose one more of the remaining 8 modules.
  • 14. Wide window of time for completion given.
  • 15. Online Student Mentors
  • 16. Student Mentor Program
    • The LSC Online Programs Advisory Committee (OPAC) engaged in discussions related to this concept during the spring semester of 2003.
    • Four faculty members used student mentors for the first time at LSC during the fall semester 2003.
    • Each faculty member decided how to best use the mentor for assistance.
  • 17. By the Numbers
    • During FY07, we expect faculty participation to increase by 25-30%.
    • We hope to employ 40 students or more as mentors by 2008.
    32 25 19 15 Spring 06 24 22 16 13 Fall 05 26 20 23 8 Sections 20 14 14 5 Courses 17 10 10 4 Faculty 14 11 9 5 Mentors Spring 05 Fall 04 Spring 04 Fall 03   Online Student Mentor Program for LSC Virtual Campus
  • 18. Money, Money, Money
    • Student mentors are paid a $50 base plus $100 per credit for each course mentored.
    • For example, the pay would be $350 per semester for a 3-credit class.
    • Work/Study dollars are used for those students who qualify. Others are paid the same rate from the Virtual Campus budget. This is one of the things provided through a $20 per online credit tuition differential.
  • 19. Why Student Mentors?
    • Student Mentors were seen as a possible solution to relieving a portion of the sometimes overwhelming crush of electronic communications….especially those questions not related to course content.
    • As a 2-year school, we don’t have the ability to use Teaching Assistants or similar employees.
  • 20. Our Model
    • Mentor is “tied” to a particular course.
      • Help with technical aspects—especially at beginning of course
      • Answer general questions
      • Support the instructor
      • Help with assignments/material (limited)
    • They are NOT: subject tutors, counselors, proofreaders, graders, friends to students or instructors, disciplinarians.
  • 21. Other Models
    • Some schools take the “advisor approach” to peer mentoring.
      • Students are assigned a peer mentor.
      • Mentors are not tied to a particular course but to a particular student.
      • Mentors help more with student services and/or business services functions than with academic course functions.
  • 22. Selecting Mentors
    • Faculty members select students (usually “star” students) and invite them to be mentors for the class in future semesters.
    • Students who are familiar with the program will often initiate the conversation with the faculty member in an effort to become a mentor.
  • 23. Actual Email #1
    • Hi, I want to say how much I have enjoyed this class, and how I want to take it over and over again! I am interested in being a student mentor. I don’t know how to be one, or even if you need one next semester. But if you do … I would be interested and honored to be a student mentor for this class. Thanks, Ann
  • 24. Actual Email #2
    • I just want to tell you how much I loved your class!!! I was not looking forward to a lit class, but your class ended up being my favorite!!! I was just wondering if that student mentor thing is a work/study thing and if I could possibly do it next semester. I qualify for work/study, but I couldn’t do it this past semester since I don’t live in Duluth. Danielle
  • 25. Basic Qualifications
    • Experienced online student—preferably taken the same class previously
    • Successful (A or B) student
    • Technologically savvy and confident
    • Responsible and timely
    • Currently enrolled student
    • Able to commit 3-5 hours per week for a three-credit class
  • 26. Success Stories
    • Development of future teachers
    • Employment for distant students
    • Employment for students with unique circumstances
    • Mentors benefit from additional review of course materials and from different perspectives brought to the class by other students
  • 27. Noel-Levitz PSOL
    • Priorities Survey for Online Learners – Spring 2005
    • Demographics question added: Have you taken an online class at LSC where there was an “Online Student Mentor”? Yes 42% No 35% Don’t Know = 23%
    “ Yes” students had higher satisfaction on all 36 items surveyed. .35 4.87 5.22 So far, has your college experience met your expectations? .42 5.43 5.85 Institution responds quickly to info requests. .39 5.42 5.81 Appropriate technical assistance available. .49 5.44 5.93 Quality of online instruction is excellent. .45 5.60 6.05 All in all, if you had it to do over, would you enroll here again? .39 5.63 6.02 Rate your overall satisfaction with your experience here thus far. Diff. No Yes Item
  • 28. Online Tutoring
  • 29. LSC Tutoring
    • The LSC Learning Center provides tutoring services for students on campus.
    • Prior to FY04, the tutors attempted to provide online tutoring services to students using WebCT as the means for communication.
    • Generally, this was not successful.
  • 30.
    • For FY04, LSC entered into a contract with SMARTHINKING.com to provide online tutoring services.
    • We decided that we needed to make a more serious commitment to the distance students for this service.
    • SMARTHINKING handles all details and administrative tasks, all we provide is the login information.
  • 31. Professional Tutors
    • E-structors will:
      • Encourage students with constructive criticism;
      • Help students identify areas for improvement;
      • Involve students in problem-solving discussions;
      • Treat students with respect.
    • E-structors will not:
      • Do assignments for the learner, give answers or write any portion of papers;
      • Review and correct errors without active participation of the learners;
      • Comment on grades or predict a possible grade.
  • 32. Subject Areas
    • Essay Center (most used, by far)
    • Mathematics (Basic Skills, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus I & II or Single Variable Calculus)
    • Statistics
    • Sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics)
    • Accounting, Finance, and Economics
    • Spanish and ESL
  • 33. Cost
    • LSC has paid approximately $10,000 to $12,000 each year for this service.
    • This is an annual contract, with service provided for summer, fall , and spring terms.
    • All LSC students (not just online) are covered by this contract.
    • Starting in FY07, MnOnline is paying for more than half of our anticipated usage.
  • 34. Growth in Usage * Indicates number of distinct users per year. 424 778 318 599 220 462 Total 11 34 6 20 6 18 Submitted Questions 39 102 51 132 34 84 Live Sessions 374 642 261 447 180 360 Online Writing Lab Hours Sessions Hours Sessions Hours Sessions Interaction Type FY06 (260)* FY05 (211)* FY04 (165)*         Via SMARTHINKING Affiliate Usage Report     LSC Online Tutoring Usage Report
  • 35. Noel-Levitz PSOL
    • Q24. Tutoring services are readily available for online courses.
      • FY05: Importance = 5.68 Satisfaction = 5.56 Gap = 0.12 Mean Difference = 0.73***
      • FY06: Importance = 5.87 Satisfaction = 5.54 Gap = 0.33 Mean Difference = 0.65***
    • (*** Difference statistically significant to the national average at the .001 level.)
  • 36. Online Developmental Courses - Pilot Project
  • 37. History of Online Developmental
    • Developmental Math has been taught online since Fall 2002. We have now taught over 30 sections with 4 instructors.
    • Developmental writing has been taught since Spring 2004 with 8 sections taught by one instructor.
    • Developmental reading has been taught since Spring 2005 with 5 sections taught by two instructors.
  • 38. Pilot Project in FY05
    • As an Institutional Effectiveness initiative, we ran a pilot project for two semesters for the purpose of studying the online developmental courses.
    • Class enrollments were reduced to 18 students per section (from 22-25), and students were “screened” before being allowed to register for the classes.
  • 39. Pilot Project: Student Withdrawals
  • 40. Pilot Project: Student GPA
  • 41. Same 4 Terms: Online vs. On-Ground
  • 42. Same 4 Terms: Online vs. On-Ground
  • 43. Improving Course Completion Rates
  • 44. Retention Strategy
    • Pilot project to create a more flexible course schedule to improve student success.
    • Retention is a serious issue for LSC and all higher education institutions.
    • Many retention efforts focus on year-over-year retention and other similar time frames for returning students.
    • Often overlooked is the importance of course completion rates.
  • 45. Successful Course Completion
    • From the Maricopa CC System:**
      • Day courses: traditional term = 70%
      • Day courses: partial semester = 85%
    • Source: Ron Bleed, CIO of Maricopa CC
    • LSC Virtual Campus Data:
      • Online courses: traditional term = 73%
  • 46. Have Students Changed?
    • For many college students, going to college is not the #1 priority in their lives (no matter how much we might want it to be).
    • The idea of the “captured” college student is a thing of the past.
    • Students expect flexibility, not rigidity.
    Yes!!
  • 47. Reasons for Non-Completion
    • From the Maricopa CC System:**
      • 10% due to academic reasons such as course too hard or too heavy a load.
      • 65% due to life interruptions (includes the normal things of family or job issues, illness, etc. etc.)
    • Source: Ron Bleed, CIO of Maricopa CC
  • 48. Example of Life Interruption 12 Weeks Invested, 12 Credits Paid For, No Credits Earned, With Little Incentive To Return 4 weeks 8 weeks Psychology Humanities Biology History 12 weeks Psychology Humanities Biology History 4 weeks 4 weeks Psychology Humanities Biology History 8 weeks
  • 49. Alternate Outcome 12 Weeks Invested, 12 Credits Paid For, 9 Credits Earned, With More Incentive To Return Psychology 4 weeks Humanities 8 weeks Biology 12 weeks History - No
  • 50. Bottom Line
    • Many students will not or cannot adhere to our old-fashioned schedules of time and space.
    • We need more varied options to fit the needs of different students:
      • On-ground, online, and blended
      • Shorter course lengths
      • More start dates
      • Better chances for course completion
  • 51. Noel-Levitz PSOL Priorities Survey for Online Learners
  • 52. PSOL Basics There are 72 questions that comprise the PSOL. Normal completion time is 15-20 minutes. NOTE: questions are answered on a 7-point Likert scale, where 7 is high. Demographics questions (can add 1) 14 Overall satisfaction questions 3 Factors to enroll in the program 11 Information sources about school/program 7 Priorities statements (can add 10) 26
  • 53. Measures Importance and Satisfaction
    • Items specific to the online learning experience can help you determine student expectations in the areas of:
      • Academic services
      • Enrollment services
      • Institutional perceptions
      • Instructional services
      • Student services
  • 54.
    • National results for comparison
    • Breakout reports based on demographics.
    • LSC paid for reports for the following:
      • Students by online program area (’05 & ’06)
      • Primarily online vs. Primarily on-campus (’05)
      • Online credits: 6 or less vs. 7 or more (’05)
      • Previous Online Enrollment (’06)
      • Age: 24 and younger vs. 25 and older (’06)
    PSOL Reports
  • 55. Most Important to LSC Students
    • Most important survey items to students:
      • Online course delivery platform is reliable (added item)
      • Registration for courses is convenient
    • Most important sources of information:
      • Web site
      • Online catalog
    • Most important factors to enroll:
      • Convenience
      • Work schedule
      • Cost
  • 56. Least Important to LSC Students
    • Least important survey items to students:
      • Student-to-student collaborations
      • Sense of community or belonging (added item)
    • Least important sources of information:
      • Advertisements
      • College representatives
    • Least important factors to enroll:
      • Recommendations from employer
      • Distance from campus
  • 57. Most Satisfied 2006 2005 Survey Statement 5.97 6.02 6.07 6.41 5.93 11. Student assignments are clearly defined in the syllabus. 5.99 23. Billing/payment is convenient. 6.05 32. Logging-in for various services across the campus is easy and consistent. (added item) 6.43 18. Registration for online courses is convenient.
  • 58. Least Satisfied 2006 2005 Survey Statement 5.32 5.20 5.25 5.04 5.42 08. Student-to-student collaborations are valuable to me. (NOTE: negative Gap) 5.34 30. I feel of sense of community or belonging through the LSC Virtual Campus. (NOTE: negative Gap in ‘05) 5.26 15. Channels are available for providing timely responses to student complaints. 5.16 05. My program advisor helps me work toward career goals.
  • 59. 2005 PSOL Demographics 18% 56% Educational goal: Associate’s degree 68% 80% Female survey respondents 78% 64% Enrollment status: Primarily online 24% 25% Current online: 10 or more credits 70% 43% Employment: full-time 33% 22% Educational goal: Bachelor’s degree 40% 70% Class level: First or second year 21% 55% 24 years old or under Nat’l LSC LSC: n=400 National: n = 16,000
  • 60. LSC’s Most Significant Differences *** .001 significance ** .01 level * .05 level .14* .13* Course registration is convenient .63*** .73*** Tutoring services readily available .23** .24** Tuition paid worthwhile investment -.17* -.14 Aware of whom to contact -.15 -.18* Sufficient offerings in my program .25** .16* Student-instructor interactions .22* .33*** Online career services available 2006 2005 Survey Statement
  • 61. Overall Ratings 6.40 6.18 5.48 FY05: Online A.A. 5.86 5.68 4.93 FY06: LSC Overall 6.08 5.90 5.19 FY06: 25 yrs. and older 5.91 5.84 5.05 FY05: LSC Overall Enroll Again ? Overall Satisfaction? Met Expectations? Survey Group
  • 62. LSC’s Online A.A. Students
    • In 2005, Online A.A. students were more satisfied than Nat’l PSOL Students on all 26 survey items.
    • In 2006, more satisfied on 21 out of 26 measures. We lost ground on:
      • Instructional materials appropriate for program
      • Appropriate technical assistance available
      • Awareness of whom to contact
      • Timely bookstore service
      • Availability of Financial Aid
  • 63. A.A. Students are Very Satisfied
  • 64. “Primarily Online” LSC Students
  • 65. Changes from FY04 to FY05
    • Satisfaction with Bookstore Service increased by 0.44 from 5.28 to 5.72
      • We created an online bookstore during the time between surveys.
    • Satisfaction with billing and payments increased by 0.28 from 5.74 to 6.02
      • Online bill payment for all students was enabled between surveys.
    • Satisfaction with institutional response to info requests increased by 0.21 from 5.46 to 5.67
      • Virtual Campus Center opened during the year.
  • 66. Peer Group
    • In FY06, LSC paid for a special peer group comparison report.
    • Twelve two-year schools with similar missions were chosen for the peer group.
    • We further broke down the results to compare LSC’s “Primarily Online” students with the same demographic group from the peer institutions.
  • 67. Peer Group Comparisons
    • On the 26 national items, the LSC group was more satisfied than the peer group on 20 of the items (9 were statistically signif.)
    • The demographics differences appear to just about even out: more females at LSC (+), but also more younger students (-); more previous online course experience at LSC (+) but also more full-time students (-).
  • 68. Five Largest Differences
  • 69. The Noel-Levitz Prioritization Matrix
  • 70. The LSC Online Prioritization Matrix
  • 71. NOTE: SSI is the Noel-Levitz Survey for on-ground learners, PSOL is the Noel-Levitz survey for online learners.
  • 72. NOTE: SSI is the Noel-Levitz Survey for on-ground learners, PSOL is the Noel-Levitz survey for online learners.
  • 73. The Gap is the difference between the importance rating and the satisfaction rating.
  • 74. Contact Info: Barry Dahl Vice President of Technology & the Virtual Campus Lake Superior College [email_address]