ETOM Higgins Lake Retreat 2014 – Online Student Success

Here are a few notes from the ETOM retreat held on March 19, 2014 in Higgins Lake, Michigan:
Distance Education used to be about the distance… from 1700s correspondence courses to radio broadcast in 1800s and 1900s moved to TV and ITV courses, and telecourses and in the 2000s, web-based education began.
Our role is to make it about the education and not the focus of the distance.
A course… is a course because the outcomes are the same.  Good teaching… is good teaching.
Delivery of content with communication and interchange and engagement is the complete picture.
What is quality?  Ensure there is a focus on grounding in accreditation –   The expectations according to accreditation entities is focused on quality.  Focus on good practice and filling the gaps with documentation for accreditation.  HLC has defined online and the process of 50% or more of the courses via distance then the program is considered online.
Online education is the news!  State authorization, secure testing, student identity (Title IX), accessibility of online courses, student retention, moocs, etc.
What do we know about online students and their needs?
What is research showing about online student success?
  • Instructor presence
  • Lack of student to student interaction
  • Few students choose online as they feel it’s superior
  • Student choice has a role to play in online success
  • Faculty effort of time for prep work and course creation
  • Students need more discipline and time management
  • Course quality linked to course success
  • Students more satisfied with faculty engaged
  • Clear outcomes shown as important
  • Student orientation key to completion
  • Students were less likely to complete their degree if they took an online course earlier in the education experience
  • Students that are unprepared to take an online course are unlikely to take another course online
  • First time online learners are at risk
We have an opportunity to create an environment that is set for success – a student is ultimately responsible for being successful and their completion.
Virtual Field Trip to review other university web sites:
  • Rio Salado is a good site to model after such as the start at Rio checklist.
  • Online tutoring
  • Oregon’s course demo
  • Schedule of webinars for orientation
  • Oregon’s video – ecampus in 30 seconds and virtual clubs
  • Orientation for prospective online students and SmarterMeasure and Time Management (Anne Arundel Community College)
Floyd and Casey-Powell Model
  1. Learning Intake – before they sign up, orientation, etc. (every course has a course specific orientation and is available early, standards for design and quality)
  2. Learner Intervention – student services, tutoring, library, tech support. (early alert systems such as login, syllabus quizzes, due dates explained, etc., retention specialists and success coaches, advising, workshops, help desk)
  3. Learner Support – develop additional skills (test taking, research, etc.) that lead to unsuccessful course completion. (early alert, workshops, video tutorials on test taking tips/just in time)
  4. Learner Transition – work with retention, graduation, persistence, transition (job fairs, interns, guest speakers, corp partnerships, financial planning, etc.)
  5. Measurement Phase (faculty and student with LMS, intake, online program surveys, is intervention process working and can we automate or scale)
Not all students are best served by an online course.
Test of Online Learning Success –
TIP – Auto-enroll student orientation for new online learners.
New online student communication track, auto-robo call after day 3 of the semester if they haven’t logged in to reach out to students.  Track interventions.
Mandatory orientation and prevent late registrations.
Online Advisor dedicated for online learning students.
Quality online courses and their delivery is part of the student success.
  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials and Resources
  5. Learner Interaction and Engagement
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility
MCCVLC Quality Rubric
Rubric for Online Instruction – (includes course delivery and design).
Penn State Faculty Assessment –
Online instructor competencies: Pedagogical, Communicator, Social, Managerial, Technical
Teaching preparedness: Organization and time management, communication skills, teaching experience, technical skills, academic of excellence at AACC.
Effective Online Teaching and 7 Principles of Good Practice (relate to faculty as well).
Engaging the Online Learner – Rita-Marie Conrad and J. Ana Donaldson (2004)
Angelo and Patricia Cross on Classroom Assessment (Classroom Assessment Techniques Handbook)