#eLearning2015 – Re-examining and Reflecting on Retention

itcelearningNotes from session at #eLearning2015 Conference:
Kari Frisch, Online Speech Communication Instructor, Central Lakes College
Be Attitudes / Be Verbs
  • Be Organized – have things ready before students need it and outlining methods
  • Be Present – check in often and respond ASAP (this helps build trust and accountability with students and models responsive behaviors)
  • Be Creative – find your inspiration and your passion, engage different learning styles, have fun, keep things fresh and fun
  1. Tip #1 – Weekly Release > Only release information for that upcoming week. Include dates in subject line as well as week #. Use reverse uploading (most current at top). Make logical sequence for students. Use outline format.
  2. Tip #2 – Weekly Notes > Provide personalized weekly notes in 2 parts, 1) top portion notes for all classes and 2) bottom portion class specific notes.  This helps develop a sense of immediacy, helps tie weeks’ content together, gets out other important information.  Notes include: words of encouragement, reminders about policies, tips on LMS, further explanation on concepts, heads up on assignments or special needs, school notices. These notes are part of the weekly content area.  http://tinyurl.com/nvv68xl  http://tinyurl.com/lshnsnc
  3. Tip #3 – Classmate Questions > Student created questions (open-ended) for ice breakers as an assignment. Post one when you can (weekly?). This helps foster and build a sense of community.  Discussion board questions are worth 2points.  Questions also near end of course and what would you recommend to other students. (Then share with eLearning team and other students.)
  4. Tip #4 – Assignment Schedules > Table format includes check-off complete column, assignment title/directions/location/grading criteria. Due date by specific day, data and time, total points possible, learning objectives as to why they are doing it.
  5. Tip #5 – Two Due Data > Wednesdays at 1PM and Fridays at 1PM. This get students into course early and helps prevent total procrastination.  Work due on wed is smaller point wise and time wise.  Big work is due on Friday.  Release new week stuff at Friday at 3PM. Don’t use Sunday at Midnight!  Picking a time in the day is when the support is available.
  6. Tip #6 – Extra Credit for Spelling Mistakes > One point only on quizzes and surveys. Only to first person and must include student name, class, quiz/survey title, question number, error, and what the error should be.  Comments are posted on a private discussion board for each student for 1:1 questions.
  7. Tip #7 – Consistency > Due dates/times, repeat type assignments, class policies, and grading is all consistent and gets students in a routine. Grading rubric for discussion boards.  Classmate Q’s are always due on Wed, surveys due on Wed, Chapter Quizzes are due on Fridays. No late work – no exception (we don’t have to judge excuses then) but open book quizzes are used.
  8. Tip #8 – Variety > Courses, assignments, opportunities, this helps keep students engaged and connected to content.
  9. Tip #9 – Open Book Untimed Tests > Tiered randomization, question order, helps reinforce late work policy, allows for real life interruptions.
  10. Tip #10 – Build Relationships > Between the student and content, faculty and student, student to student.  Use personal experience, share photos and videos for digital stories, personable on discussion boards, constructive criticism and feedback. Connect concepts to real life by making it personal with someone tangible and within “one degree”!  Be polite… reaffirm respectful communication, use lots of please and thank you, kill ‘em with kindness.
Survey students to improve your course and increase retention!
Don’t forget about general online orientation and orientation to the course.
Early alert also.