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Student Success in a Digital World: Designing Transition Pedagogy for First-time Online and Distance Learners

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Workshop facilitated as part of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning Seminar Series, 12th April, Dublin

Workshop facilitated as part of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning Seminar Series, 12th April, Dublin

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  • Has a strong phenomenological dimension and involves a number of case studies or learner stories collected through audio/video diaries over the initial stages of the study lifecycle—that is, from thinking about study to the first few weeks.
  • Course Choice
  • Transcript

    • 1. A cutting-edge digital learning strategy Student Success in a Digital World: Designing Transition Pedagogy for First-time Online and Distance Learners Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning National Seminar Series Dublin Friday 12th April 2014
    • 2. Background… • Director of the new National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University
    • 3. Background…
    • 4. Background… http://ni4dl.org
    • 5. Background… • Previous Director of Distance Education and Learning Futures Alliance (DELFA) • Leadership role in supporting the development of a university-wide Student Success Strategy • Leadership role for New Zealand‘s first enterprise wide university-based MOOC initiative • Past President New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning • Director of the new National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University • Previously Director of the National Centre for Teaching and Learning, Massey University, New Zealand
    • 6. Palmerston NorthAuckland Wellington Distance Worldwide Background…
    • 7. A taste of Middle Earth…
    • 8. 1. Who are we? 2. What are the big issues? Morning Tea 3. What do we know about retention? 4. What do we know about engagement? 5. How can we support student success? Light Lunch Outline…
    • 9. 1. A better understanding of the wider context facing third level providers in changing times. Key takeaways…
    • 10. 1. A better understanding of the wider context facing third level providers in changing times. 2. Ability to discuss and critique different perspectives and sources of evidence related to retention and student engagement. Key takeaways…
    • 11. 1. A better understanding of the wider context facing third level providers in changing times. 2. Ability to discuss and critique different perspectives and sources of evidence related to retention and student engagement. 3. Increased awareness of a wider range of (digital) tools and strategies for supporting student success and enhanced understandings of how to develop a comprehensive plan across the study lifecycle. Key takeaways…
    • 12. 1. Who are we?
    • 13. 1. Who are we? How tall are you?
    • 14. 1. Who are we? How many years have you been at your current institution?
    • 15. 1. Who are we? What is your main work or subject area?
    • 16. 1. Who are we? How experienced are you at online teaching and learning?
    • 17. 1. Who are we? What is your favourite colour?
    • 18. 1. Who are we?
    • 19. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 20. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 21. - Globally - Nationally - Locally 2. What are the big issues?
    • 22. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 23. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 24. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 25. An avalanche is coming. It‘s hard of course, to say exactly when. It may be sooner than we think. Certainly there is no better time than now to seek to understand what lies ahead for higher education – and to prepare (p.8) Barber, M., Donnelly, K., & Rizvi, S. (2013). An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead. Institute for Public Policy Research. London. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 26. B O L D Blended | On-line | Distance 2. What are the big issues?
    • 27. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 28. The challenge of attrition, progression and completion 2. What are the big issues?
    • 29. ―He [she] who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he [she] who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.‖ Chinese Proverb 2. What are the big issues?
    • 30. 2. What are the big issues?
    • 31. Morning tea…
    • 32. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 33. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 34. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 35. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 36. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 37. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 38. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 39. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 40. 3. What do we know about retention? Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, 2013
    • 41. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 42. 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 43. 80+% 54% 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 44. 3. What do we know about retention? NA 66%
    • 45. 3. What do we know about retention? What does all this mean?
    • 46. The problem of retention is real and in the current financial climate, and rapidly changing global higher education environment, tertiary education providers world- wide are likely to come under increasing pressure to enhance learner success. What does all this mean? A proxy for engagement! 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 47. ―A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.‖ Francis Bacon 3. What do we know about retention?
    • 48. 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 49. • Wealth of literature • Institutionally centric • Different perspectives - Behavioural - Psychological - Socio-cultural - Holistic • Further investigation required of the ‗soft‘ factors • Issues around engagement are complex 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 50. 4. What do we know about engagement? ―A sense of belonging‖
    • 51. 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 52. 4. What do we know about engagement? What do you find interesting?
    • 53. 4. What do we know about engagement? What do you find interesting?
    • 54. 4. What do we know about engagement? What do you find interesting?
    • 55. 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 56. 4. What do we know about engagement? Undergraduate
    • 57. 4. What do we know about engagement? Undergraduate
    • 58. 4. What do we know about engagement? • Large body of literature on first year • Strategies often fragmented or lack integration • Gap in the literature on the experiences of first- time distance (online/off-campus) learners • Off-campus learners study under conditions far less common than campus-based learners • Dearth of research that presents the learner voice
    • 59. To improve the supports and services available for first-time distance learners. • To investigate the experiences of being a first time distance learner ‗in their own words‘ from a student perspective • To develop a set of overarching principles for enhancing distance learner engagement and success; • To develop a conceptual framework for identifying the most effective use of various intervention tools, supports and resources at early stages of the study lifecycle. Research objective… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 60. • Phase 1 - Audit of existing services • Phase 2 - Baseline and end of semester survey • Phase 3 - Stories of first-time distance learners • 20 participants broadly representive distance learners • 140 volunteers from pool of 850 potential participants • Obtained full human ethics approval process • Weekly video diaries using Sony bloggie™ Methodology… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 61. • Adapted from JISC (2007), Arnold & Riddle (2007) and Cashmore, Green & Scott (2010) • Aim for video diary of ≥ 5 m/pw for ≤ 6 wks • Actual video diaries were 2 – 16 m/pw for 7 – 16 wks • Participant withdrawals: 2 early, 5 in W7, 5 in W14, 8 in W16 • Data collection aided by ‗reflective prompt framework‘ Video Diaries… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 62. 30 – 39 years Maori 4 papers (module) College of Humanities Remote location Not employed 7 children Insights from first-year… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 63. 30 – 39 years Maori / Pasifika 4 papers (module) College of Business Wellington FT employment 1 guardianship Insights from first-year… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 64. 20 – 29 years European 2 papers (module) College of Humanities Urban location FT employment 0 children Insights from first-year… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 65. 50 - 59 years Maori / European 2 papers (module) College of Business Auckland Seeking employment Insights from first-year… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 66. 60+ years European 1 paper (module) College of Education Remote location Employed 3 days Insights from first-year… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 67. "I've finished my paper (module), which is such a relief because, in the last six weeks, I just wasn't really interested in it. Other things in my life meant it went on the back-burner and was something that was frustrating and it got in the way of... well, life got in the way of the paper (module) really." Life happens… 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 68. 1. Online/distance learning was perceived to enable study to fit around other life, work and family commitments; however, students have relatively little conception of the actual demands of studying by online/distance. 4. What do we know about engagement? Three lessons…
    • 69. 4. What do we know about engagement? Three lessons… 2. Online/distance students that begin with well articulated study goals that are aligned with their wider aspirations and realistically balanced alongside life's other commitments also typically report active study orientations.
    • 70. 4. What do we know about engagement? Three lessons… 3. Although learner stories affirm the importance of the first few weeks of study, there are ebbs and flows in the life of an online/distance student over the semester and a second critical at risk phase was identified in later weeks.
    • 71. 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 72. 4. What do we know about engagement? Metaphorically how can we use new digital technologies to provide caves, campfires, watering holes and mountain tops which promote a stronger sense of belonging?
    • 73. ―A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.‖ Francis Bacon 4. What do we know about engagement?
    • 74. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 75. 5. How can we support student success? • We need to move away from a ―goulash‖ approach (Simpson, 2009) • Institutions need to analyse their own retention strategies and ‗spot the leaks‘ (Simpson, 2003) • Develop a framework informed by the literature that identifies and coordinates best practice
    • 76. • We need to move away from a ―goulash‖ approach (Simpson, 2009) • Institutions need to analyse their own retention strategies and ‗spot the leaks‘ (Simpson, 2003) • Develop a framework informed by the literature that identifies and coordinates best practice 5. How can we support student success? Based on a principled approach…
    • 77. • Appropriate course choice • Proactive personalised contact/information • Early identification of ‗at risk‘ • Recognise value of external support • Supports positive interactions with the university • Develops a sense of belong to the university • Develops academic and social confidence • Develops student wellbeing Basic assumptions about student success… 5. How can we support student success?
    • 78. Pathway Intervention What do we do for failing students Secondary Intervention What do we do for at-risk students? Targeted/Selective Primary Intervention What do we do for targeted groups of students? General/Primary Intervention What do we do for all students? Intervention Pyramid Adapted from Wilson (2009) 5. How can we support student success? Support Pyramid
    • 79. Student Success Framework Study Life Cycle 5. How can we support student success? Individual Staff Peers School Institution
    • 80. Off Campus in Class Off Campus out of Class On Campus in Class Academic Social / Wellbeing Synchronous Asynchronous On Campus out of Class Student Success 5. How can we support student success? Peers InstitutionSchool Staff
    • 81. Mapping Student Success 5. How can we support student success?
    • 82. • What supports and services do you provide? 5. How can we support student success?
    • 83. 5. How can we support student success? - Thinking about study - Making choices - Enrolment - First few weeks - Progression - Institution - School - Staff - Academic - Social - Wellbeing • What supports and services do you provide?
    • 84. • Focus on managing expectations • Content and tools to assist the student to make good choices - Distance learning and how it works - Considerations when choosing courses - Planning your study - Services and resources Thinking About Study - ‗the website‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 85. 5. How can we support student success? Thinking About Study – ‗rich media‘
    • 86. • Self directed exercises - Literacy/numeracy exercises - Digital literacy checklist - Is distance learning for me? Quiz Thinking About Study - ‗Online preparation tools‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 87. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 88. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 89. Thinking About Study - ‗Work/Study/Life Calculator‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 90. 5. How can we support student success? Thinking About Study – ‗Maths readiness‘
    • 91. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 92. Making Choices – ―online course previews‘ What study material will I have? How will I connect with other students and staff? What kind of work will I submit? What study support is available? << Title Page 5. How can we support student success?
    • 93. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 94. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 95. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 96. First Few Weeks - ‗Online orientation course‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 97. 5. How can we support student success? First Few Weeks – ‗Teacher presence‘
    • 98. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 99. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 100. Progression – ‗Integrated online resources‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 101. Progression – ‗OWLL‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 102. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 103. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 104. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 105. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 106. Progression - ‗Assignment Pre-reading Service‘ 5. How can we support student success?
    • 107. - Real time clinics 5. How can we support student success?
    • 108. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 109. 5. How can we support student success?
    • 110. Conclusion
    • 111. Conclusion A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking
    • 112. Conclusion 1. We are facing some big issues that require us to rethink traditional practices—for better and worse. 2. Student success is complex but expect to see increasing emphasis on retention and student engagement in the future. 3. We need to be strategic and carefully plan (and evaluate) the way we support student success across the study lifecycle.
    • 113. Conclusion
    • 114. Lunch…
    • 115. Contact details… Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning mark.brown@dcu.ie @mbrownz http://www.slideshare.net/mbrownz