DLA2009 Presentation S Porto

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Stella Porto's presentation at Distance Learning Administration Conference, St. SImons, GA

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DLA2009 Presentation S Porto

  1. 1. Beyond Instruction: building sustainable student online communities Dr. Stella Porto Master of Distance Education Graduate School of Management & Technology University of Maryland University College
  2. 2. Agenda •  Focus of this presentation •  Introduction   Student support in distance education   Context & background •  The evolution of the MDE online community   Our timeline & corollary projects   Lessons learned   Synergy and future •  Final remarks
  3. 3. Focus of this presentation “As distance education has evolved from a teacher-centric to a much more learner-centric model, the roles and activities instructors and other learner support providers have changed to being more proactive than reactive” (Brindley et al., 2004, p.9) The lack of campus life imposes difficulty in keeping students and graduates connected beyond the ties of the online classroom. Building virtual communities in a sustainable way is the focus of this presentation.
  4. 4. Introduction: Student Support in Distance Education •  Necessary shift from a campus based perspective   Needs go beyond those addressed in individual courses •  Focus on the needs of this specific target audience   Part-time   Full-time employment   Family duties   Long time away from school   Diverse academic and professional background •  Learning communities cultivate a blend of challenge and support •  Counter act feelings of isolation   Supporting network   Feeling of belonging
  5. 5. Introduction: Context & Background – MDE is a partnership
  6. 6. Context and landscape Oldenburg
  7. 7. Context and landscape Oldenburg
  8. 8. Introduction: Context & background: the program •  Core competencies   Managing the DE system in a Corporate variety of settings Training &   Planning, budgeting, Learning development, delivery, and support of distance education and Faculty Media & distance training programs Support technology •  Target Audience   Potential managers of the Distance distance education enterprise in: Education   Educational organizations   Corporate / Business Instruction Higher   Government & Military Design & Education   Non-profit and associations Support •  Entirely online for part-time Leaders & working adults Managers •  International •  Collaborative
  9. 9. Introduction: Institutional Student support •  Enrollment management / Registrar   Admissions   Financial aid   Registration   Advising   Graduation •  Portal with self-services •  Academic specialist within the department •  Program director •  Library •  Office of disabilities
  10. 10. The evolution of the MDE online community: timeline First trial… Using a course shell as a community environment
  11. 11. The evolution of the MDE online community: timeline Second addition: Alumni network through C3L-Oldenburg… … just alumni
  12. 12. The evolution of the MDE online community: timeline New addition…The MDE Blog • One-stop-shop for all MDE related information • One-way communication - no interaction
  13. 13. The evolution of the MDE online community: timeline Third trial… The MDE-lounge • Real interaction • Privacy, listserv mode, discussion board, simple and not-invasive
  14. 14. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The Faculty-forum • Management effectiveness • Privacy, listserv mode, discussion board, simple and not-invasive
  15. 15. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The MDE wiki on new technologies • Knowledge-base • Information sharing • Meta-learning
  16. 16. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The MDE capstone wiki • Support for final capstone • Information sharing • Direct relationship with instruction
  17. 17. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The MDE orientation • Workshop with direct instructor-led support • Information sharing • Direct support to instruction
  18. 18. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The MDE internship program • Getting your feet wet as a distance educator • Supporting the program • Engaging in action research
  19. 19. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The MDE buddy- system • Peer-support • Student initiative • Action research project
  20. 20. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… Presence in social networks • Connections with graduates and prospective students • Marketing
  21. 21. The evolution of the MDE online community: corollary New developments… The MDE Itinerant video project • Graduate initiative • Celebration • Community involvement
  22. 22. Lessons learned  There is a need for an active moderator  Continuously invite community  Reach out to new students  Most participants are lurkers  Coupling blog posts to listserv  A few active members generate significant impact  Being personal is key  Ongoing projects and activities
  23. 23. Synergy and future  Projects led by graduates  Relationship  Virtual with other conference for UMUC units 10th anniversary  Partnerships celebration in publishing  Podcast series and academic  Webinars work  Special interest groups
  24. 24. Final remarks  Thinking beyond the classroom  Enthusiasm is contagious  Experiment, experiment and experiment…  Count on your graduates and students  Networking is essential to everyone for different reasons
  25. 25. Questions? Contact: sporto@umuc.edu http://www.slideshare.net/sporto/dla2009-presentation-s-porto
  26. 26. The Master of Distance Education Present - Curriculum Core DE Foundations: systems view, technology, online teaching & learning, costing and student support Technology Teaching & Training Policy & Management Leadership Instructional Design Leadership Instructional Design Library & Copyright DE Systems Multimedia Assessment Library & Copyright Globalization & Multimedia Assessment Development Distance Training DE Business Advanced Technologies Virtual K-12 Globalization & Internet Technologies Development Capstone : E-portfolio & Research Project

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