Janet Guerrini: Consultant O Issues and Challenges: Preparing Ongoing Support Services for K-12 Virtual Students
Rationale For Support ServicesO The Internet is becoming dominant among distance-education mediaO The increasing demand on higher education infrastructure means more distance education programsO Students demand for flexibility in program structure to accommodate their responsibilities (Howell, Williams, & Lindsay, 2003).
Online Student ReadinessO Multiple support services must be incorporated to prepare students for a successful virtual experience.O Skills identified must include:1) Prerequisite skills, 2) Strategies forinstruction, 3) Resources required, & 4) Howto determine student readiness (Martinez, Torres,& Giesel, 2006).
Tool to Assess Student Readiness O Interactive assessment to help students determine readiness for learning in an online environment O Goal: Help learners make an informed decision based on the information and immediate feedback O Areas of Concern: Technology Experience Access to Tools, Study Habits, Lifestyle, Goals & Purposes, & Learning Preference (Board of Regents, University System of Georgia, 2003)
Technology ExperienceO Helps the learner assess the level of computer, email, and Internet skills.O The Likert survey will evaluate the learners confidence in utilization of: the keyboard, creating & saving files,logging on to the Internet provider andnavigating URLs, using search engines,installing software, & troubleshooting basiccomputer problems (Board of Regents, UniversitySystem of Georgia, 2003)
Access to ToolsO The learner will determine the most common tools for online courses, also if additional tools are needed.O Students will answer yes or no to questions that include:Consistent access to a computer with reliableHS Internet connection, computer with a soundcard and microphone, resolution of computer,access to a printer, Flash plug-ins, virusprotection, Java, Firefox, Safari, Real Player &QuickTime (Board of Regents, University System of Georgia,2003)
Study HabitsO Helps students determine the strengths and weaknesses of study habits and skillsO Questions will include:Netiquette skills, communicating in a virtualworld, ability to express ideas, staying ontask, plan effectively, time management,completing projects on time, self-control(Board of Regents, University System of Georgia, 2003)
LifestyleO Helps students determine the compatibility of their lifestyle such as stress on the learner and the online learning demandsO Questions include:Hours set aside to study, flexible schedule,quiet & personal space, Internet access,family support & assistance (Board of Regents,University System of Georgia, 2003)
Goals & PurposeO The learner will determine the level of motivation both internal & external required to be successful in the virtual environment.O Questions include:Goal setting, purpose in assignments, reasonfor taking an online course, self-direction, andself-discipline (Board of Regents, University System of Georgia,2003)
Goal Setting: Success in the Virtual Environment
Learning PreferenceO Helps the learner identify their style for processing & remembering information; helps to determine successful strategies for instructional deliveryO Questions include:How the learner comprehends & retainsinformation, how the learner processesinformation, individual or group workpreference, creative, abstract or concretelearning preference, how a student connectsinformation to new learning (Board of Regents,University System of Georgia, 2003)
ConclusionO Online learning is growing rapidly at the K- 12 levelO Online learning is not inferior to F2F learningO Online learning is here to stayO Measures to ensure online student success need to be taken to increase overall graduation rates (Dray, Lowenthal, Miszkiewicz, Ruiz-Primo, & Marczynski, 2011)
ReferencesO Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. (2003). Student online readiness tool. Retrieved on July 12, 2012 from www.occc.edu/OnlineResources/sort/htm/tool.htmlO Dray, B.,Lowenthal, P., Miszkiewicz, M., Ruiz-Primo, M., & Marczynski, K. (2011). Developing an instrument to assess student readiness for online learning: A validation study. Distance Education, 32(1), pp. 29-47. Retrieved on July 12, 2012 from http://sehd.ucdenver.edu/update/files/2011/05/DrayLowenthalMisketal2011.pdfO Howell, S.L., Williams, P.B., Lindsay, N.K. (2003). Thirty-two trends affecting distance education: An informed foundation for strategic planning. Retrieved on July 12, 2012 from wwww.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall63/howell63.htmlO Martinez, S., Torres, H., & Giesel, V. (2006). Determining student readiness for online instruction. Online Student Support Services: A Best Practices Monograph. Retrieved on July 12, 2012 from http://www.onlinestudentsupport.org/Monograph/readiness.php