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Creating Connections:<br />Using Technology to Build<br />Student Community<br />Jill Lingard<br />Associate Director for ...
 Online Business Program<br />Launched in 2002 with 14 students statewide<br />509 active students today<br />429 graduate...
Where are they?<br />THE CHALLENGE:<br />Providing academic advising and student services to students from Pensacola to Ke...
The Solution<br /> THE ONLINE STUDENT CENTER <br />     Uses our electronic course platform <br />      to create an onlin...
Functions<br />Orientation presentation<br />Information on...<br />Course offerings, registration, and syllabi<br />Requi...
Benefits<br />Reaches students where they already are<br />Streamlines communication<br />Fosters self-sufficiency<br />Re...
How might YOU use this?<br />Advising/training video presentations<br />Information on majors and degree requirements<br /...
Building community<br />GOSA:  <br />The Gator Online Student Association<br />
Do online students interact?<br />Academic Interaction<br />Family Interaction<br />Online Student<br />Work Life Interact...
Meet Sara…<br />
Distance learning emotions<br />Apprehensive<br />What classes should I take and when?<br />How will I manage the course s...
Student support system<br />GOSA’s Birthday – April 29, 2007<br />Formed by a group of students in the Online Business Pro...
Basic site structure<br />General topics<br />Prospective students<br />First-semester students<br />Textbook swap<br />Ji...
How’s Sara now?<br />“I was thinking about dropping out of UF to go to UCF because I felt so isolated from the other stude...
Academic integrity<br />GOSA is committed to upholding academic integrity through posting rules and board moderation.<br /...
What do professors think?<br />     I see GOSA as the proverbial port in what could be characterized as a stormy sea of ju...
Academic performance<br />Persistence <br />ECP3703 – Managerial Economics<br />Pre-GOSA drop rates:   33%, 32%, 31% <br /...
We can now tell our students...<br />“If you join GOSA and actively participate, <br />odds are you’ll earn better grades ...
GOSA’s impact on student experience:<br />from degree shopper to UF graduate <br />
Student services<br />Orientation<br />Registration<br />Academic advising<br />Graduation<br />
Orientation<br />Online or on-campus (Saturdays)<br />We plug new students into GOSA immediately!<br />Relevant GOSA board...
Registration<br />Streamlined communication to students<br />Deadlines<br />‘How To’ information<br />Related details:  te...
Academic advising<br />‘Rate My Schedule’ thread<br />Peer feedback from students like them<br />Community college graduat...
Graduation<br />Streamlined communication to students<br />Degree application  deadlines, regalia orders, commencement cer...
Testing<br />How testing works<br />Communication of procedures<br />Test day emergencies <br />Ride share board<br />Pre-...
Marketing & recruitment<br />Prospective Students board<br />Referrals to GOSA in emails, at college fairs<br />Posters in...
Marketing & recruitment<br />NOTHING markets an online degree program better than satisfied students.<br />
Biggest impacts<br />Increased academic performance and persistence<br />More effective communication<br />Peer-to-peer<br...
Questions?<br />Bryan Howard<br />CEO, Online Student Technologies, LLC<br />(321) 258-4335<br />bryan@ufonlinestudents.or...
Creating Connections: Using Technology to Build Student Community
Creating Connections: Using Technology to Build Student Community
Creating Connections: Using Technology to Build Student Community
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Creating Connections: Using Technology to Build Student Community

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Through the lens of both an academic advisor and a student, presenters of this session will share how their use of technology has enhanced communication and a sense of community among students, faculty, and staff, and also heightened the academic performance and persistence of students in an online program.

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Creating Connections: Using Technology to Build Student Community

  1. 1. Creating Connections:<br />Using Technology to Build<br />Student Community<br />Jill Lingard<br />Associate Director for Online Programs<br />UF Warrington College of Business Administration<br />Bryan Howard<br />CEO, Online Student Technologies, LLC<br />2008 UF Graduate - Online BSBA<br />
  2. 2. Online Business Program<br />Launched in 2002 with 14 students statewide<br />509 active students today<br />429 graduates through Summer 2009<br />Targets FL’s transfer students through community college partnerships<br />Average age: 30 (range: 20-60) <br />90% work full-time; many are parents<br />85% do not live in Gainesville<br />
  3. 3. Where are they?<br />THE CHALLENGE:<br />Providing academic advising and student services to students from Pensacola to Key West <br />
  4. 4. The Solution<br /> THE ONLINE STUDENT CENTER <br /> Uses our electronic course platform <br /> to create an online advising center<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Functions<br />Orientation presentation<br />Information on...<br />Course offerings, registration, and syllabi<br />Required textbooks<br />Suggested degree plans and course sequencing<br />Academic policies and degree requirements<br />Test dates, times, locations<br />Links to important UF sites<br />‘Ask an Advisor’ discussion board<br />
  7. 7. Benefits<br />Reaches students where they already are<br />Streamlines communication<br />Fosters self-sufficiency<br />Reduces anxiety<br />Builds community<br />Nice side effect: frees up our main program Web site to serve more of a marketing purpose<br />
  8. 8. How might YOU use this?<br />Advising/training video presentations<br />Information on majors and degree requirements<br />‘Ask a ____’ discussion boards <br />Peer-to-peer discussion boards<br />Commonly used forms (and their submission)<br />Student organizations<br />Meeting or event videos<br />Room reservations<br />
  9. 9. Building community<br />GOSA: <br />The Gator Online Student Association<br />
  10. 10. Do online students interact?<br />Academic Interaction<br />Family Interaction<br />Online Student<br />Work Life Interaction<br />Social Interaction<br />
  11. 11. Meet Sara…<br />
  12. 12. Distance learning emotions<br />Apprehensive<br />What classes should I take and when?<br />How will I manage the course schedules?<br />Disconnected<br />I have to learn this all by myself?<br />How will I get help when I need it?<br />Overwhelmed<br />How do I get it all done?<br />How does anyone get it all done?<br />
  13. 13. Student support system<br />GOSA’s Birthday – April 29, 2007<br />Formed by a group of students in the Online Business Program<br />Operated by business students, with new recruits added each year<br />Provides a family atmosphere and takes the “distance” out of distance learning<br />
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Basic site structure<br />General topics<br />Prospective students<br />First-semester students<br />Textbook swap<br />Jill’s corner<br />Mentor program<br />Business courses<br />Each course has a board<br />Study groups<br />Breakdown by FL city or region<br />Alumni forum<br />Instead of homework<br />1337 Gators<br />Football/basketball<br />Politics<br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. How’s Sara now?<br />“I was thinking about dropping out of UF to go to UCF because I felt so isolated from the other students and didn&apos;t have that connection with others that I needed. Then I found GOSA and it really changed my mind. <br />I will graduate in December and I really owe it to GOSA for allowing me to stick with it. I guess what I&apos;m trying to say is, I&apos;m proud to be a part of GOSA and it is amazing what&apos;s been created.”<br /><ul><li>Sara, GOSA Poster Child and UF Graduate!</li></li></ul><li>Happy and successful<br />
  19. 19. Academic integrity<br />GOSA is committed to upholding academic integrity through posting rules and board moderation.<br />Students police each other.<br />Many professors visit the site to gauge student reactions to lectures, course policies, and tests.<br />
  20. 20. What do professors think?<br /> I see GOSA as the proverbial port in what could be characterized as a stormy sea of juggling difficult classes and work/family obligations in an online degree program.  With GOSA, students need not feel adrift. <br />I occasionally monitor my course&apos;s discussion board to &quot;keep my finger on the pulse&quot; of the course from the students&apos; perspectives.  To see how they interact and help each other is truly inspiring.  They do a very good job of self-governing, keeping perspectives in check and encouraging one another.  GOSA helps online students truly feel a part of The Gator Nation.  <br /><ul><li> Kent Malone, Real Estate Lecturer</li></li></ul><li>What do professors think?<br /> GOSA provides a place for students with similar issues that are not shared by the on-campus students to support one another and share their problems and insights. Just having someone to talk to and a place <br />to vent where others are in the same boat is helpful, as is the moralsupport they offer one another. I definitely think it helps with program persistence. I also think the sense of community and ties to the University that GOSA fosters are helpful in broader ways that are harder to pin down. I suspect, for example, it increases the probability that online students will later contribute to the University as alumni.<br /><ul><li>Dr. James Dewey, Research Economist</li></li></ul><li>Academic performance<br />Grades<br />Average GPA among all active students: 2.96<br />Average GPA among GOSA members: 3.04<br />Average GPA among non-GOSA members: 2.76<br />
  21. 21. Academic performance<br />Persistence <br />ECP3703 – Managerial Economics<br />Pre-GOSA drop rates: 33%, 32%, 31% <br />Post-GOSA drop rates: 18%, 17%, 20%<br />FIN3403 – Business Finance<br />Pre-GOSA drop rates: 50%, 32%, 33% <br />Post-GOSA drop rates: 23%, 20%, 17% <br />
  22. 22. We can now tell our students...<br />“If you join GOSA and actively participate, <br />odds are you’ll earn better grades and <br />drop fewer courses.” <br />(“And by the way, it’s fun too!”)<br />
  23. 23. GOSA’s impact on student experience:<br />from degree shopper to UF graduate <br />
  24. 24. Student services<br />Orientation<br />Registration<br />Academic advising<br />Graduation<br />
  25. 25. Orientation<br />Online or on-campus (Saturdays)<br />We plug new students into GOSA immediately!<br />Relevant GOSA boards<br />First Semester Students<br />New to GOSA<br />GOSA mentors<br />Post (campus) orientation bonding<br />
  26. 26. Registration<br />Streamlined communication to students<br />Deadlines<br />‘How To’ information<br />Related details: test dates, textbooks, syllabi <br />‘On the ball’ students pull others with them<br />Continuing students educate newbies<br />
  27. 27. Academic advising<br />‘Rate My Schedule’ thread<br />Peer feedback from students like them<br />Community college graduates<br />Working fulltime<br />Parents<br />Jill’s Corner<br />For general advising questions<br />Refer personal matters to a more appropriate venue<br />
  28. 28. Graduation<br />Streamlined communication to students<br />Degree application deadlines, regalia orders, commencement ceremony details<br />Reception for online grads<br />Started Fall ‘07 as a direct result of GOSA feedback<br />Chance for students, faculty, staff to meet everyone they’ve been emailing for 2+ years<br />
  29. 29. Testing<br />How testing works<br />Communication of procedures<br />Test day emergencies <br />Ride share board<br />Pre-exam study groups<br />Post-exam ‘therapy’ <br />
  30. 30. Marketing & recruitment<br />Prospective Students board<br />Referrals to GOSA in emails, at college fairs<br />Posters in students’ offices<br />Word-of-mouth recruiting<br />
  31. 31. Marketing & recruitment<br />NOTHING markets an online degree program better than satisfied students.<br />
  32. 32. Biggest impacts<br />Increased academic performance and persistence<br />More effective communication<br />Peer-to-peer<br />Advisor-to-student (and vice versa)<br />Constant source of student feedback<br />How are we doing? Where can we improve?<br />Finding themes amid ‘the noise’<br />The GOSA family<br />
  33. 33. Questions?<br />Bryan Howard<br />CEO, Online Student Technologies, LLC<br />(321) 258-4335<br />bryan@ufonlinestudents.org<br />Jill Lingard<br />Associate Director for Online Programs<br />University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business<br />(352) 273-0165, jill.lingard@cba.ufl.edu<br />

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