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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

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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

Centss  inno_awrd_2010 Centss inno_awrd_2010 Presentation Transcript

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Audit Structure
    CENTSS Online Student Services Audit
    31 Student Service Audits
    Respond from a Student’s Perspective
    Critical Components:8-14 “Questions” Per Service
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. 
  • The 2010 Winners
  • Wyoming
    Wyoming Distance Education Consortium, Wyoming Community Colleges, and University of Wyoming
    Innovation WyCLASS
    First Place, Administrative Core
    CENTSS Generation 3
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • California
    CCC Technology Center, Butte College
    Innovation eTranscript California
    First Place, Administrative Core
    CENTSS Generation 4
  • Problem
    California needed a large scale transcript exchange network
    California institutions did not have agreements over data content and delivery amongst each other
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ohio
    Marion Technical College
    Innovation Orientation Reference Guide
    First Place, Student Communities Suite
    CENTSS Generation 3
  • 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
  • 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
  • Success Measures
    Measured the visits to the web site
    An instant feedback survey for students using the Orientation Reference Guide is planned
  • New York
    Excelsior College
    Innovation Success Strategies for Military and Veterans
    First Place, Personal Services Suite
    CENTSS Generation 3
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Minnesota
    Metropolitan State University
    Innovation G.R.A.D.E.S.
    First Place, Academic Services Suite
    CENTSS Generation 3
  • 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
  • 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
  • Success Measures
    Administrators are currently measuring interest and adoption both internally and externally as well as feedback from stakeholders and interested parties
  • Minnesota
    Century College
    Innovation GPS LifePlan
    First Place, Academic Services Suite
    CENTSS Generation 4
  • Problem
    Many students enter college without the benefit of personal, educational, or career goals and plan
  • 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
  • Solution
    GPS (Goals + Plans = Success) LifePlan
    Students can budget financial aid and educational expenditures
    Students can monitor and track their progress through eFolio
  • 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 
  • Minnesota
    Capella University
    Innovation Academic Planning System
    First Place, Academic Services Suite
    CENTSS Generation 5
  • Problem
    Essential information related to degree planning and transfer credit was stored in multiple locations.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Maryland
    Montgomery College
    Innovation Course Information Pages
    First Place, Communications Suite
    CENTSS Generation 3
  • Problem
    Many questions about online courses were coming from both current and new students
    Students needed a readily available resource  
  • 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
  • Success Measures
    The Course Information Pages site is now the third most-often-visited area of the Distance Education website
  • Washington
    Washington State University
    Innovation Virtual Mentor
    First Place, Communications Suite
    CENTSS Generation 4
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Complete List of Innovation Award Winners:
    http://www.centss.org/services/innovations.html
  • The 2011 Innovation Awards
    is currently underway!
    Visit www.CENTSS.org and submit an entry by August 31.