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“A Virtual Tour of Innovative Student Services” Presented at the annual conference of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, …

“A Virtual Tour of Innovative Student Services” Presented at the annual conference of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies,
November 12, 2010, La Jolla, California

Published in: Education
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  • InnovationWyCLASSWebsite that lists all distance courses in the state of Wyoming to make it easier for students to obtain information and register for courses
  • ProblemMany Wyoming students do not live within driving distance of Wyoming’s 1 university and 7 community colleges, so online education is necessaryDistance students often need degree classes that are unavailable from their local college To take classes at other schools, students had to try to figure out how to contact each college, register for courses, and get their transcripts sent to their home college
  • SolutionThe Wyoming Distance Education Consortium created the WyCLASS websiteLists all online courses from each institutionClass list is searchableStudents can both request more information on classes through email or register for the class
  • MeasuresWyCLASS reporting features allow administrators to track usage and what classes students search forWebsite continues to grow each semester Administrators track student searches to identify needs not being metFeedback from advisors is very positive
  • InnovationeTranscript CaliforniaA highly flexible, secure transcript request and delivery service between the California Community Colleges, University of California, California State University systems, and other higher educational institutions in and out-of-state
  • ProblemA large scale transcript exchange network had not been practical in California because agreements over data content and delivery did not exist between each institution
  • SolutioneTranscript California has a data dictionary that all network members must adhere toData dictionary standardizes transcript data so that each institution has a single upload and download interface  
  • MeasuresOver 55 participating institutionsInstitutions have delivered more than 137,000 student transcriptsThis number is expected to grow immensely with the recent addition of institutions like University of Southern California, National University, University of Phoenix and others
  • InnovationOrientation Reference Guide provides "Flash" video, voice, text, and graphics to give new students an interactive online option for orientation 
  • ProblemNot all students could attend new student orientation programs in personSome students needed reinforcement and more details about student services, technical assistance, and academic servicesAn interesting online experience to teach new student orientation topics did not exist
  • SolutionThe Online Interactive Orientation Reference Guide links real MTC employees to real servicesGives students 24/7 accessImproves the campus tour and map experience with video and audio
  • Measurements Measured the visits to the web site locationPlans to include an instant feedback survey for students using the Orientation Reference Guide
  • InnovationCCS 112: Success Strategies for Military and Veterans
  • ProblemExcelsior College needed a more proactive and targeted approach to support and develop the academic and career skill sets for transitioning military and veteran studentsA vendor-produced course was tried but was not meeting the students’ needsStudents were dissatisfied with the content and overall lack of quality
  • SolutionSubject matter experts from the Office of Online Education and Learning Services, The School of Liberal Arts, and the Center for Military Education collaborated to design an interactive online orientation course for military and veteran students
  • Measures37 % increase in enrollments for the first three sessions of CCS 112 since the revised course was launched in January 2010 Administrators began to track the usage of all student support services. Example: 1/3 (32%) of students using the Excelsior College virtual library are military and veteran students.
  • InnovationA set of electronic tools to give students greater knowledge about grading policy, calculations, and real time forecasting of grading impacts and completion rates. 
  • Problem [Vicky: I cut the slide down to the root of the problem; the talking points have more information for you]Students who are not familiar with underlying grading policies or have limited access to advising tools often come to an advisor only after reaching a crisis point Advisors’ limited time is taken to explain policy and do initial analysis for students. Further time is taken by tracking student progress and calculating multiple course of actions or scenarios for students Distribution of information using existing channels may be hampered by budget considerations Tools that may provide necessary information may have difficulties in times of resource constraints due to cost or development time Because of policy development and directives e.g., Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), makes it crucial for students to understand institution policy and for the institution to enable students to have access to information
  • SolutionMetro State created a web-based tool set that provides cross platform functionality in combination with videos and training to have users understand both policy and documentation related to SAP and grades
  • MeasuresAdministrators are currently measuring interest and adoption both internally and externally as well as feedback from stakeholders and interested parties
  • InnovationThe GPS (Goals + Plans = Success) LifePlan is a planning tool that helps students complete their college degree or successfully transfer to another institution 
  • ProblemMany students enter college without the benefit of personal, educational, or career goals and plan
  • SolutionThrough the GPS LifePlan, students connect with college resources, access information, and receive assistance from faculty and staff in achieving personal and career-related goalsStudents can track their career evaluation process and outcomes, program requirements and timelines, internships, service learning and mentoring experiencesFinancial aid and budgeting for educational expenditures, time management and identifying family needs also can be documented and included in the GPS LifePlanStudents can monitor and track their progress through eFolio, an online individual portfolio
  • SolutionThrough the GPS LifePlan, students connect with college resources, access information, and receive assistance from faculty and staff in achieving personal and career-related goalsStudents can track their career evaluation process and outcomes, program requirements and timelines, internships, service learning and mentoring experiencesFinancial aid and budgeting for educational expenditures, time management and identifying family needs also can be documented and included in the GPS LifePlanStudents can monitor and track their progress through eFolio, an online individual portfolio
  • MeasuresIn a survey in April 2009, faculty responded to the question “Do you support the use of the GPS LifePlan and view it as a worthwhile program?” – Strongly Agree was 53%, Somewhat Agree was 28%, Neutral was 15%, Somewhat Disagree was 3% and Strongly Disagree was 0%Our scores in the area of Student-Faculty Interaction and Support for Learners increased from 2005 to 2009 (+3.5 and + 4.5 respectively) on our Community College Survey of Student EngagementWhen students were asked in a graduation survey to what level did the GPS LifePlan helped with their education and career plans 71% reported excellent, 18% reported good, 11% reported average and 0% reported bad. 
  • InnovationCapella University created an academic planning system, which includes the following modules: Degree planner Substitutions and equivalencies External to internal course articulations Course sequencing
  • ProblemCapella lacked a central location to store essential information related to degree planning and transfer credit
  • SolutionThe Capella Academic Planning System serves as a central location to access essential information related to degree planning and transfer credit. This enables Capella staff to more accurately and efficiently work with learners as they progress toward graduation. More detailThe Capella Academic Planning System serves as a central location to access essential information related to degree planning and transfer credit. This enables Capella staff to more accurately and efficiently work with learners as they progress toward graduation. • Degree planner enabled:Capella staff and learner can view the same degree plan on learner portal.Centralized location of degree plans. Visibility of planned courses for course scheduling and pre-registration. Consistent and branded format across programs.Ability to provide proactive outreach for learners who are off track with degree plan. Customized program requirements by reading transfer credit information from ERP system. • Substitutions and equivalencies enabled: Improved access to data, which reduced the amount of manual work necessary to conduct substitution and equivalency research.Improved understanding of substitutions and equivalencies across organization.
  • Measures90% of Capella learners now have degree plansReceiving positive learner feedbackAbility to process pre-registration ~3 times fasterImproved efficiency in creating degree plans
  • InnovationCourse Information Pages provide students with facts and details about online courses
  • ProblemMany questions about online courses were coming from both current and new studentsStudents needed a readily available resource that was always accessible
  • Solution [Vicky: I cut the slide down; the talking points have more information for you]Course Information Pages were created to allow students to: View information regarding specific online courses Purchase booksContact instructors with questionsDetermine whether the online section is the best optionCompare instructors Find information without multiple emails and/or phone callsAccess this information from outside the course management system
  • MeasuresThe Course Information Pages site is now the third most-often-visited area of the Distance Education website.
  • InnovationVirtual Mentor Program where current upper-division and former students interact with students in 9 courses
  • ProblemAttrition is a particular problem with distance students. Research suggests several strategies to improve the likelihood of success for distance students:Assist students in navigating the course space Form community to alleviate feelings of remoteness and isolation Provide technical and logistical support
  • Solution WSU created the Virtual Mentor Program Current upper-division and former students interact with students in 9 courses to alleviate feelings of remoteness and isolation Student to student interaction is encouraged and facilitated
  • MeasuresStudent survey (Fall 09)81% of students were aware of the Virtual Mentor (VM) in the course61% of students aware of the VM agreed the VM’s work was consistent with the job description Almost all the responding students rated VMs as helpful to extremely helpful in the areas of supplying tips and suggestions to help students be successfulOnly 19% of respondents felt they didn’t benefit at all from the VM’s presence in the course (mostly experienced distance students).  Faculty evaluations 7 out of 10 faculty reported that the VMs were regularly present and contributed to enhancing and building community in the online class
  • MeasuresStudent survey (Fall 09)81% of students were aware of the Virtual Mentor (VM) in the course61% of students aware of the VM agreed the VM’s work was consistent with the job description Almost all the responding students rated VMs as helpful to extremely helpful in the areas of supplying tips and suggestions to help students be successfulOnly 19% of respondents felt they didn’t benefit at all from the VM’s presence in the course (mostly experienced distance students).  Faculty evaluations 7 out of 10 faculty reported that the VMs were regularly present and contributed to enhancing and building community in the online class
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Center for Transforming Student Services
      Providing educational institutions with the tools and training they need to develop and deliver high-quality student services online.
    • 2. History
      Established as a partnership among the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET), the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and Seward Inc., CENTSS expands upon WCET's research on best practices in student services online.
    • 3. History
      CENTSS Launched November 2005
      Searchable Resources
      Models of Best Practice
      Workshops
      Audit Tool
      AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, ND, NE, NM, OH, OR, SD, TX, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY, Canada
      The CENTSS Online Student Services Audit has been used by over 200 post-secondary institutions in 30 states and Canada.
    • 4. Audit Structure
      CENTSS Online Student Services Audit
      31 Student Service Audits
      Respond from a Student’s Perspective
      Critical Components:8-14 “Questions” Per Service
    • 5. Audit Structure
      Library
      Orientation
      Personal Counseling
      Placement Services
      Registration
      Retention Services
      Schedule of Classes
      Staff-to-Faculty Communications
      Student Accounts
      Student Activities
      Student Records
      Student Population Segments
      Student-to-Student Communications
      Technical Support
      Tutoring
      Wellness Services
      Academic Advising
      Academic Counseling
      Admissions
      Assessment & Testing
      Bookstore
      Career Services
      Course/Program Catalog
      Developmental Ed Services
      Disability Services
      Ethical & Legal Services
      Faculty-to-Student Communications
      Faculty-to-Staff Communications
      Financial Aid
      Financial Planning
      Institution-to-Student Communications
    • 6. Audit Benefits
      Establish a baseline of how you deliver online student services now
      Quickly identify problem areas and develop strategies for improvement
      Create a common language for improvements
      Benchmark your progress against your peers locally, statewide, or nationally
      Track and compare your progress year over year
      Inform decisions about technology purchases using tested and individualized data
    • 7. CENTSS Innovation Awards 2010-2011
      Tools, creative strategies, and fresh thinking to design, develop, implement, and maintain online student services that have produced measureable results. 
    • 8. The 2010 Winners
    • 9. Wyoming
      Wyoming Distance Education Consortium, Wyoming Community Colleges, and University of Wyoming
      Innovation WyCLASS
      First Place, Administrative Core
      CENTSS Generation 3
    • 10. Problem
      Many Wyoming students do not live within driving distance of Wyoming’s schools
      Distance students need degree classes not available from their local college
      Students had to figure out how to contact each college, register for courses, and get their transcripts sent
    • 11. Solution
      WyCLASS Website
      Online catalog of all online courses from each institution
      Class list is searchable
      Students can request more information on classes and/or register for classes
    • 12. Success Measures
      Website continues to grow each semester
      Administrators track student searches to identify course needs not being met
      Feedback from advisors has been very positive
    • 13. California
      CCC Technology Center, Butte College
      Innovation eTranscript California
      First Place, Administrative Core
      CENTSS Generation 4
    • 14. Problem
      California needed a large scale transcript exchange network
      California institutions did not have agreements over data content and delivery amongst each other
    • 15. Solution
      eTranscript California
      Contains a data dictionary to which all network members must adhere
      Standardizes transcript data so that each institution has a single upload and download interface
    • 16. Success Measures
      Over 55 participating institutions
      Institutions have delivered more than 137,000 student transcripts
      Number of transcripts is expected to grow with the recent addition of institutions like University of Southern California, National University, University of Phoenix, and others
    • 17. Ohio
      Marion Technical College
      Innovation Orientation Reference Guide
      First Place, Student Communities Suite
      CENTSS Generation 3
    • 18. Problem
      Not all students could attend new student orientation programs in person
      Some students needed reinforcement and more details about student services, technical assistance, and academic services
      An interesting online experience to teach new student orientation topics did not exist
    • 19. Solution
      Orientation Reference Guide
      Links real MTC employees to real services
      Gives students 24/7 access to orientation information
      Improves the campus tour and map experience with video and audio
    • 20. Success Measures
      Measured the visits to the web site
      An instant feedback survey for students using the Orientation Reference Guide is planned
    • 21. New York
      Excelsior College
      Innovation Success Strategies for Military and Veterans
      First Place, Personal Services Suite
      CENTSS Generation 3
    • 22. Problem
      A more proactive and targeted approach to support and develop military and veteran students’ academic and career skill sets
      A vendor-produced course was tried but was not meeting the students’ needs; Students were dissatisfied with the content and overall lack of quality
    • 23. Solution
      CCS 112: Success Strategies for Military and Veterans
      Subject matter experts collaborated to design an interactive online orientation course for military and veteran students
    • 24. Success Measures
      37 % increase in enrollments for the first three sessions of CCS 112 since January 2010
      Administrators began to track the usage of all student support servicesExample: 1/3 (32%) of students using the Excelsior College virtual library are military and veteran students
    • 25. Minnesota
      Metropolitan State University
      Innovation G.R.A.D.E.S.
      First Place, Academic Services Suite
      CENTSS Generation 3
    • 26. Problem
      Students not familiar with grading policies and without access to advising tools come to an advisor only after reaching a crisis point
      Advisors’ limited time is taken to explain policy
      Further time is taken tracking student progress and calculating multiple courses of actions
    • 27. Solution
      GPA Realtime Advising Estimating System (G.R.A.D.E.S.)
      This web-based toolset provides cross platform functionality in combination with videos and training so students understand both policy and documentation related to satisfactory academic progress and grades
    • 28. Success Measures
      Administrators are currently measuring interest and adoption both internally and externally as well as feedback from stakeholders and interested parties
    • 29. Minnesota
      Century College
      Innovation GPS LifePlan
      First Place, Academic Services Suite
      CENTSS Generation 4
    • 30. Problem
      Many students enter college without the benefit of personal, educational, or career goals and plan
    • 31. Solution
      GPS (Goals + Plans = Success) LifePlan
      Students connect with college resources, access information, and receive assistance from faculty and staff to achieve goals
      Students can track their career evaluation process and outcomes, program requirements and timelines, internships, service learning and mentoring experiences
    • 32. Solution
      GPS (Goals + Plans = Success) LifePlan
      Students can budget financial aid and educational expenditures
      Students can monitor and track their progress through eFolio
    • 33. Success Measures
      Graduation Survey:
      Graduating students rated GPS LifePlan and how much it helped with their education and career plans
      71% reported excellent
      18% reported good
      11% reported average
      0% reported bad 
    • 34. Minnesota
      Capella University
      Innovation Academic Planning System
      First Place, Academic Services Suite
      CENTSS Generation 5
    • 35. Problem
      Essential information related to degree planning and transfer credit was stored in multiple locations.
    • 36. Solution
      Academic Planning System
      The system serves as a central location for information related to degree planning and transfer credit. This enables staff to more accurately and efficiently work with students as they progress toward graduation.
    • 37. Success Measures
      100% of active students now have degree plans
      Positive learner feedback
      Pre-registrations are processed 3 times faster
      Improved efficiency in creating degree plans
    • 38. Maryland
      Montgomery College
      Innovation Course Information Pages
      First Place, Communications Suite
      CENTSS Generation 3
    • 39. Problem
      Many questions about online courses were coming from both current and new students
      Students needed a readily available resource  
    • 40. Solution
      Course Information Pages
      Allow students to:
      View information regarding specific online courses
      Purchase books
      Determine whether online section is the best option
      Contact and compare instructors
    • 41. Success Measures
      The Course Information Pages site is now the third most-often-visited area of the Distance Education website
    • 42. Washington
      Washington State University
      Innovation Virtual Mentor
      First Place, Communications Suite
      CENTSS Generation 4
    • 43. Problem
      Attrition is a particular problem with distance students
      Research suggests strategies to improve this:
      Assist students in navigating the course space
      Form community to alleviate feelings of remoteness and isolation
      Provide technical and logistical support
    • 44. Solution
      Virtual Mentor Program
      Allow students to:
      Current upper-division and former students interact with students in 9 courses to alleviate feelings of remoteness and isolation
      Student-to-student interaction is encouraged and facilitated
    • 45. Success Measures
      Student Survey
      61% of students aware of the VM agreed the VM’s work was consistent with the job description
      Almost all responding students rated VMs as helpful to extremely helpful in the areas of supplying tips and suggestions to help students be successful
      7 out of 10 faculty reported that the VMs were regularly present and contributed to enhancing and building community in the online class
    • 46. Complete List of Innovation Award Winners:
      http://www.centss.org/services/innovations.html
    • 47. The 2011 Innovation Awards
      is currently underway!
      Visit www.CENTSS.org and submit an entry by August 31.

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