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Orientating Students to Learning Online: Why the Emphasis on Learning Matters

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webinar with J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and their work through QEP with a FIPSE grant. The webinar walks through their process of creating and tweaking their orientation course to help …

webinar with J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and their work through QEP with a FIPSE grant. The webinar walks through their process of creating and tweaking their orientation course to help improve student retention and success.

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  • Shall I bring copies of a sample syllabus?
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    • 1. ORIENTING STUDENTS TO LEARNING ONLINE: WHY THE EMPHASIS UPON LEARNING MATTERS Ghazala Hashmi, PhD Coordinator, Quality Enhancement Plan Meg Foster, MA Assistant Coordinator, Quality Enhancement Plan J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Richmond, Virginia SmarterServices Summer Webinar Series  July 24, 2013
    • 2. Overview of the Session • Identifying the attributes vital for effective learning within the 21st century • Broadening our concepts of ―College Ready‖ within these new and emerging contexts of higher education • Expanding our institutional approaches to student preparation with concepts built upon targeted assessments • Implementing these findings directly within support resources for students and faculty • Proposing some next steps J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 2
    • 3. Goals of the Session To evaluate the ways in which student readiness must include – for all students – some degree of readiness for the new digital literacies of this century To share one institution’s efforts in the area of improving student success within online learning J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 3
    • 4. Background: JSRCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Success in Distance Learning Student Readiness Student Orientation Faculty Training J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 4
    • 5. ATraditional, Operational Definition of ―College Ready‖ The level of preparation a student needs in order to enroll and succeed—without remediation—in a credit-bearing, general education course at a postsecondary institution that offers a baccalaureate degree or transfer to a baccalaureate program. ―Succeed‖ is defined as completing entry level courses at a level of understanding and proficiency that makes it possible for the student to consider taking the next course in the sequence or the next level of course in the subject area. – David Conley ―Toward a Comprehensive View of College Readiness‖ (2007) J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 5
    • 6. An Initial Definition of Readiness for Online Learning J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 6 Access to Technology Technical Competency Ability to Manipulate and Manage Digital Environments Most institutions began with the traditional concept of COLLEGE READY and then predicated “student readiness for online learning” upon essentially three additional factors:
    • 7. What most institutions anticipated . . . College Ready Technology Skills Success in Online Learning J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 7
    • 8. The realities we faced . . . Online courses are too often characterized by • Low persistence rates • Fewer successful students Broader student and institutional impacts • Delays in college completion • Student attrition from courses or from college altogether • Increase in college costs for students • Broader implications within the ―time to degree‖ costs • Faculty engagement and preparation for online instruction J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 8
    • 9. National Online Enrollments, as a Percentage of Total Enrollments, Continues to Increase J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 9 ―Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States,‖ Babson Survey Research Group (2013)
    • 10. The annual increase in the numbers of students taking at least one online course has not yet plateaued 0 2,000,000 4,000,000 6,000,000 8,000,000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Increase Over Previous Year Students Taking at Least 1 Online Course J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 10 ―Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States,‖ Babson Survey Research Group (2013)
    • 11. JSRCC Data for Online Enrollments (2011-2012) Reflects National Trends 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 Downtown Suburban Rural Online Enrollments Headcount J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 11
    • 12. Online Enrollments Impacted Community Colleges Earlier and in Greater Numbers According to a 2003 National Center for Education Statistics report, the largest share of distance education enrollments (48%) was in community colleges. Community Colleges, in particular, have had to respond sooner and more deliberately to student demand for online learning opportunities Even in the midst of the recession, distance education enrollments in community colleges increased 22%, up from 11% the previous year. (Miller, 2010) J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 12
    • 13. As educators, what should our responses be? • Slow down the expansions of online learning? • Divide student populations into categories for these different learning contexts, or create gatekeeping policies for student enrollment within online courses? • Develop our understanding of and approaches to an adequate, appropriate preparation of all students for the new learning and teaching environments that we now face? J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 13
    • 14. Expanding the Essential Definitions of ―College Ready‖ to Embrace Readiness for Online Learning In the contemporary higher education environment, academic success for ALL students is frequently predicated upon the critical skills that are necessary for success within digital learning environments. Even students who never set a ―virtual foot‖ within the digital landscape are still called upon to navigate through digital learning. In reality, increasing numbers of students are completing some – if not most – of their academic work online. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 14
    • 15. What are we doing to prepare and support our increasing numbers of online learners? Online learning calls upon sets of skills that are often not factored into the traditional evaluations of ―college ready‖: • Discipline for independent learning • Ability to navigate new and complex digital environments • Personal attributes that support and sustain academic efforts J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 15
    • 16. Essential Literacies of the 21st Century Our very language itself is challenged as it attempts to keep apace with the evolving dimensions of the materials and the information with which we interact, and that we try to interpret and integrate into our lives: • New Media Literacy • Information Literacy • Digital Literacy • Technology Literacies These literacies are essential for all of our learners – not just our online learners J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 16
    • 17. The example of Virginia’s recent legislative responses highlights the essential reality of redefining ―College Ready‖ In April 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law a bill requiring Virginia high school students to complete at least one virtual course to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma; the law goes into effect for the freshman class of 2013-2014. The measure’s argument suggests that students with online learning experiences are better prepared for the ―job market of the 21st century.‖ Other states have adopted similar measures or are evaluating the need to adopt these measures. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 17
    • 18. Institutional Challenges • How do we effectively prepare students for the new learning environments? • How do we assess these new levels of college readiness? • How do we orient and/or remediate for digital learning skills? J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 18
    • 19. Poll Question What types of orientation activities are your institutions providing for online learners? Self-directed Modules Facilitated, Online Sessions Face-to-Face Orientations to Technology No Distinct Orientations for Online Learners Other J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 19
    • 20. Comevo online orientation software (comevo.com) • Meet students where they are • Online convenience • Engaging content • Student Success Tool • Access to content • Quiz, Test, Portal • Useful campus-wide
    • 21. APPLICATIONS WITHIN ONE VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE INSTITUTION J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 21
    • 22. Measuring Students’ Preparation for Learning Online & Preparing Students to Learn Online Two steps taken by J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College: 1) Integration of SmarterMeasure – a web-based assessment tool – to evaluate students’ readiness skills for online learning 2) Development and implementation of an Orientation to Learning Online module that is facilitated and delivered through Blackboard, provides essential instruction for new online students, and models the core elements of quality course design J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 22
    • 23. SmarterMeasure: An Introduction The SmarterMeasure assessment helps students determine their readiness to succeed in an online learning environment. Personal Attributes Life Factors Learning Styles Reading Recall Technology Competency & Knowledge Typing Skills J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 23
    • 24. SmarterMeasure Student Report J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 24
    • 25. SmarterMeasure and its Results for JSRCC Students Assessments of SmarterMeasure data helped the institution to identify two central areas of weakness among its student population: Life Factors: Availability of Time, Place, Reason, Resources & Skills Personal Attributes: Time Management, Personal Responsibility, Willingness to Seek Assistance J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 25
    • 26. have about a 56% chance of succeeding in Distance Learning classes. Conversely, students who do not struggle with ―Life Factors‖ or who display high scores within Personal Attributes, have about a 75% chance of succeeding in Distance Learning classes SmarterMeasure Findings Students who struggle with ―Life Factors‖ or who display low scores within the Personal Attributes assessment, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 26
    • 27. What SmarterMeasure Emphasizes for JSRCC Students Non-cognitive skills are the essential ingredients for student success: Personal Attributes • study skills • metacognitive strategies • self-regulated learning • time management • goal-setting J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 27
    • 28. In addition to Personal Attributes, the ability to manage LIFE FACTORS has a significant positive effect upon student success and persistence. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 28
    • 29. BUILDING UPON SMARTERMEASURE ASSESSMENTS TO CREATE A SOLID ORIENTATION TO LEARNING ONLINE Summer 2011 to the Present J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 29
    • 30. Development of CDL 001: Orientation to Learning Online  Evaluated SmarterMeasure findings and other college assessments  Created a team to develop the orientation. Team was comprised of volunteers who connected three vital areas: Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Information Technology.  Critical to success was including faculty and staff who brought their expertise/perspective as online teachers and students. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 30
    • 31. CDL 001: An Overview • The orientation session takes approximately 4-6 total hours to complete. • It simulates the experience of being in an actual online class. • The session is facilitated by trained faculty/staff member. • It is housed in Blackboard. • Six Learning Units, with activities, are designed to be completed within 4 to 5 days • Assignments include 3 discussion board posts, 3 quizzes, 1 library research assignment, and a final self-reflection essay. • Students also complete SmarterMeasure and submit their individual report to the facilitator. • An exit survey captures students’ responses to the Orientation. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 31
    • 32. The Learning Units of CDL001 J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 32
    • 33. Success and Persistence Rates of CDL001 Completers Summer 2011 – Fall 2012 completers and their Success Rates in Online Learning:  1123 students registered to take CDL 001  These students have enrolled in 4592 distance courses between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012.  Persistence rate: 93.7% for CDL Completers vs. 87.9% for Non-Completers  Successful completion (A,B, or C) rate: 83% for CDL Completers vs. 69% for Non-Completers J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 33
    • 34. Poll Question If your institution has also integrated SmarterMeasure for its students, how are the assessment results being used? To advise students considering online courses As an assignment within certain courses For placement approval in online classes As a self-assessment for students Other My institution is not using SmarterMeasure J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 34
    • 35. Proposals for Next Steps Partnerships between secondary and post-secondary institutions to develop support and orientation activities for online learning Increased training of faculty and teachers to meet the growing needs for both online learning and the new demands of emerging literacy expectations Direct applications of assessment results towards the creation of products that effectively support and prepare students for the challenges of accessing information and learning in the digital landscapes J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 35
    • 36. References Babson Survey Research Group. (2013). Changing course: ten years of tracking online education in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/changingcourse.pdf Conley, David T. (2007) Toward a comprehensive view of college readiness. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from www.nebhe.org/wp-content/uploads/Conley.ppt J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 36
    • 37. Thank you for your participation Ghazala Hashmi ghashmi@reynolds.edu Meg Foster mbfoster@reynolds.edu J Sargeant Reynolds Community College | Richmond, Virginia 804.523.5515 J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 37

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