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

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