J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Ghazala Hashmi, Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan Meg Foster, Assistant Coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan Denise Woetzel, Reference Librarian and Information Literacy SpecialistNew Horizons Conference 2012 Roanoke, Virginia March 2012 1
Background Research oBest Practices recommend student orientation programs oFew institutions offer comprehensive orientations oFew institutions mandate orientation Institutional Research and Findings I. College Data Profile II. Faculty and Student Surveys III. SmarterMeasure Results 3
What research in best practices recommends:Student skills in time management, independent learning attributes,technology knowledge, resource awareness should be establishedprior to engagement in online classes.What most of the other institutional models are providing:Self-directed orientationsRecommended but not mandatory or encouraged orientationsWeb-based “tips” rather than an integrated class that replicates theonline experience within a CMSGeneric orientations rather than personalized to institutionWhere the few mandatory orientation programs for onlineare housed:For-profit institutionsInstitutions / Programs driven by class cohort models
Regardless of their initial level of preparation . . . studentswere more likely to fail or withdraw from online coursesthan from face-to-face courses. In addition, students whotook online coursework in early semesters were slightlyless likely to return to school in subsequent semesters,and students who took a higher proportion of creditsonline were slightly less likely to attain an educationalaward or transfer to a four-year institution. --Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggers Community College Research Center of Columbia University The Effectiveness of Distance Education Across Virginia’s Community Colleges: Evidence From Introductory College-Level Math and English Courses (2010)
Where we beganData Profile of the Institutiondeveloped for the QualityEnhancement Plan TopicSelection process (2007- 2008)
2004-2005 Success Rates (A,B, or C) 76% Number of DL Courses 74%2006-2007 72% 70% Number of DL Courses 68%1998-1999 66% 64% 0 200 400 600 Online On-Campus
Faculty Survey (2010)Question: Do you provide an onlineorientation to your course?65% of New Instructors indicated “No”51% of Continuing Instructors indicated“No”
Student Survey (2010)CriticalInstructionalElements thatscored85% or lower for arecognizablepresence in thecourse
SmarterMeasure and its ResultsIn the past two years, over 8300 JSRCC students have completedSmarterMeasure (SM). We have measured SM performance againstacademic success in online courses for the past four semesters.The Two Most Critical Areas that Emerged for OurStudents:Life Factors: Availability of Time, Place, Reason, Resources & SkillsSmarterMeasure feedback may provide students with encouragement to modify thosecircumstances that impact their academic progress. If some life circumstances are beyondan individual’s control, the self-awareness may be beneficial to planning andunderstanding limitations.Personal Attributes: Time Management, Personal Responsibility, Willingness to Seek Assistance
If a student struggles with “LifeFactors,” That student has about a 56% chance of succeeding in Distance Learning classes.If a student does not struggle with“Life Factors,” That student has a 75% chance of succeeding in Distance Learning classes.
Success in Online Classes Weak Success in Online ClassesStrong 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Critical Elements:•Adherence to essentialstandards of QualityMatters course design•Facilitated rather thanself-taught / self-paced•Focused upondeveloping study skillsand resource knowledgerather than technicalknow-how
Created a team to develop orientation program. Team was group of volunteers that connected three vital areas: Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Information Technology. Critical to success was including faculty and staff who brought their expertise/perspective as online teachers and students. 14
Team asked critical questions which shapedprogram: In what ways would the program be facilitated? What would be the payment terms for those facilitators? Would the orientation program be housed in Blackboard or just freely available on the web? How much time could we require of students? How much work could we require of students? 15
Developed strategy to market CDL 001 tostudents, faculty and advising staff. Print materials, email messages (general and targeted), college announcements, training sessionsDeveloped training program for staff/faculty tofacilitate sections. Complete CDL 001, training manual, review with Center for Distance Learning Coordinator 16
Key piece to CDL 001 is interaction facilitators/students students/students Emphasized in training materials for facilitators. Student interaction, both in class space and outside, prompted discussion of next steps for online community creation.• . 17
Tutorial: http://libguides.reynolds.edu/dlorientation• Tutorial created using LibGuides• Overview & links to JSRCC Library’s resources, services, & policies• Introduction to basic research skills• Embedded “how to” video clips using Camtasia
Learning activity: • Search any topic in the library catalog and select one book record. • Search any topic in a library database and select one article. • Using the citation tool in both the catalog and database, copy and paste the MLA citation for the book and article in a Word document , then submit via Blackboard.10 question quiz
Survey comments from students who completed course: Um, the research part was not my favorite--but i understand its importance in distant learning and was well appreciated and introduced to me through the tutorial links and scripts. (Though it was nice to learn that I could get books for personal pleasure if I wanted to.) I would have liked perhaps to have one more project using the Library Resources CDL 001 gives an excellent overview of the resources available both on campus and online. Of [of course], there was not time to examine every resource in great detail, but what is helpful is knowing where to go for future reference. The practice of locating articles will be helpful, as will just the experience of interaction and the online teaching/learning flow and culture. Since this is not my first year in college, the lessons toward the end were not very helpful. Also, I feel that there should have been more lessons on online library resources.
CDL001 Exit Survey (August 2011 – February 2012) Phone Survey of Non-Completers (Fall 2011) Faculty and Staff Feedback in Reflection Paper (Fall 2011) Success and Persistence Rates of CDL001 Completers (Fall 2011)
Now that I have completed CDL001, I feel confident about taking a distance learning class at JSRCC.6050403020100 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree 1 Agree 2 Neutral 3Disagree Strongly Disagree 4 5
After completing CDL 001, I now have an understanding of the campus resources that are available to me:605040302010 0 1 2 3 4 5
When asked whether they would encourage other students to take CDL001,95% of the 81 participants indicated “Yes” on the Exit Survey
Q: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE NOT TO COMPLETE THE PROGRAM? No response 5 Power outage from Hurricane Irene 3 Forgot that I was enrolled 2 Time constraints/class load 6 Other issues 5Q: WOULD YOU RECOMMEND CDL 001 TO OTHER STUDENTS? WHY OR WHY NOT? Yes, highly 1 Yes 15 No 1 N/A 3 No Comment 1
I would recommend CDL001 to other students because . . . Top 4 Responses: Information in CDL001 is extremely helpful 6 comments To gain greater knowledge of how online classes 4 comments work Increase online learning skills 3 comments To learn how to navigate Blackboard 2 commentsOther Responses: All students should take a course like this Helps students identify whether or not they are independent learners Teaches necessary Bb skills for all students, not just online students To learn time management skills
The CDL001 instructor responded quickly, and such responsiveness is not indicative of all online courses. The College should emphasize to its instructors the importance of quick responses in online courses. (3 comments) Provide better information on registration and access to CDL001. (3 comments) Make the orientation mandatory.(2 comments) The amount of information was overwhelming. There was too much emphasis on how to conduct research online.
Two Special Sessions of CDL001 for Faculty and Staff have been provided: Fall 2011 – 10 participants Spring 2012 – 25 participantsThe Special Sessions’ Target Audience: Faculty and staff who teach online and who want to contribute to the further development of a strong orientation Advisers who want to better understand the demands of online learning Individuals who may be interested in facilitating future sessions of the orientationThese Special Sessions have proven to be an effective way: To introduce faculty and staff to better advising conversations with potential distance learners To share JSRCC’s efforts of improving online learning To build the enthusiasm for readiness and orientation efforts at the institution
My reasons for taking CDL001: to see and experience what we ask our students to do to test myself since I have never used BlackboardWhat I learned: I have a better idea of what we ask our students to accomplish.How I will apply my learning: I am better able to advise students who expressed interest in online classes. I am able to share my own experiences and point students towards appropriate resources such as SmarterMeasure and CDL001.
My reasons for taking CDL001: to understand what students experience when they take CDL001 to understand our work from immersion, rather than from conjecture to guide faculty more effectively in their efforts to teach, especially to teach onlineWhat I learned: The experience was valuable. A better understanding of our learners helps to become better educators. I respect the importance of student orientation and student readiness.How I will apply my learning: I will advocate CDL001 to all faculty under my supervision. The orientation, along with SmarterMeasure, is a very good foundation for student success.
Summer and early Fall completers were trackedthrough their Fall 2011 enrollments. 47 students successfully completed CDL001 41 students proceeded to enroll in 74 distance courses in Fall 2011 Persistence rate: 99% Successful completion (A, B, or C) rate: 92%